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Sheer Class? Returns to educational performance: evidence from UK graduates’ first destination labour market outcomes

By Robin Naylor, Jeremy Smith and Abigail McKnight


We exploit individual-level administrative data for whole populations of UK university students for the leaving cohorts of 1985-1993 (together with that of 1998) to investigate the influence of degree performance on graduate occupational earnings. We find that there is a significant premium associated with a good performance at university. We also find that this premium increased between 1985/6 and 1993/4, a period of substantial expansion in the graduate population. Among other results, we find that there are significant differences in the occupational earnings of leavers according to university attended, subject studied, and pre-university educational and social background, ceteris paribus

Topics: HB, HD
Publisher: University of Warwick, Department of Economics
Year: 2007
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