University selectivity and the relative returns to higher education : Evidence from the UK

Walker, Ian and Zhu, Yu (2018) University selectivity and the relative returns to higher education : Evidence from the UK. Labour Economics, 53. pp. 230-249. ISSN 0927-5371

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We study the wage outcomes of university graduates by course (i.e. by subject and institution) using the UK Labour Force Surveys (LFS). We show that the selectivity of undergraduate degree programmes plays an important role in explaining the variation in the relative graduate wages. In fact, we find that much of the variation in relative wages across courses is due to the quality of students selected. Once we allow for course selectivity in our analysis we find that our estimates of the effects of attending the most prestigious HEIs is around 10 percentage points lower than otherwise; the effects of attending the middle ranking HEIs is around 5 percentage points lower; and that of attending these lowest ranking HEIs is unaffected. We go on to consider selection (on observables) into subjects and institutions using the Inverse Probability Weighted Regression Adjusted (IPWRA) method to estimate multiple treatment effects.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Labour Economics
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Labour Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Labour Economics, 53, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2018.05.005
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? college selectivityrelative returns to higher educationorganizational behavior and human resource managementeconomics and econometrics ??
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Deposited On:
06 Jun 2018 08:26
Last Modified:
26 Mar 2024 00:44