Returns to Tertiary Education in Skills and Wages: A Cross Country Comparison. Cover Image

Návratnost terciárního vzdělávání v růstu kompetencí a platu: mezinárodní srovnání
Returns to Tertiary Education in Skills and Wages: A Cross Country Comparison.

Author(s): Petra Anýžová
Subject(s): Sociology of Education
Published by: Sociologický ústav - Slovenská akadémia vied
Keywords: skills; tertiary education; labour market outcomes; degree programs; structural modelling;

Summary/Abstract: Returns to Tertiary Education in Skills and Wages: A Cross Country Comparison. This paper is pursuing two main objectives. Firstly, to map the impact of higher education on shaping literacy and numeracy cognitive competencies. And secondly, to compare the financial returns to tertiary bachelor and master education and cognitive skills acquired at this level of education among 17 countries participating in the international survey of adult skills PIAAC (2011 – 2012). Particular emphasis is placed on assessing the returns to various fields of study. For the purpose of international comparison, structural modelling was applied. The results confirm that, conditional on age and gender, the contributions of the university degree to literacy and numeracy skills are greater in countries with high innovation potential (e.g. Finland, Japan) than in countries with low innovation potential (e.g. Russia, Slovakia). As expected, countries with a high innovation potential exhibit lower financial returns both at the level of bachelor studies (9-20 % salary increase) and master's degree studies (20-35 %). In contrast, in countries with a lower innovation potential the returns to bachelor studies fluctuates under the same conditions between 25-40 % of salary increase and master degree studies around 30-50 %. The increase of cognitive skills across the European countries is very similar, ranging around 10 % (conditional on education), providing that the increase in the numeracy competencies affects the wage conditions slightly more favorably than the increase in reading skills. Another important finding is that in countries with lower innovation potential, controlling for measured competencies, the returns to humanities and social-science disciplines often exceed (by around 8 %) the returns to technical subjects while in countries with the highest innovation potentials returns to technical fields is around 17 % higher than returns to humanities and social sciences. In the future it can be expected that in transitive countries, hand in hand with the economic development, the financial returns to university degree fields of study may change significantly.

  • Issue Year: 49/2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 5-36
  • Page Count: 32
  • Language: Czech