Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Ability bias, skewness and the college wage premium

By Robin Naylor and Jeremy Smith


Changes in educational participation rates across cohorts are likely to imply changes in the ability-education relationship and thereby to impact on estimated returns to education. We show that skewness in the underlying ability distribution is a key determinant of the impact of graduate expansion on the college wage premium. Calibrating the model against the increased proportion of university students in Britain, we find that changes in the average ability gap between university students and others are likely to have mitigated demand-side forces

Topics: HD
Publisher: University of Warwick, Department of Economics
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2008). Heterogeneities in the returns to degrees: evidence from the British Cohort Study doi
  2. (1975). Human Capital, 2 nd Edition,
  3. (1993). Omitted-ability bias and the increase in the return to schooling, doi
  4. (1991). Omitted-ability bias and the increase in the return to schooling, NBER Working Paper 3693. doi
  5. (2008). The college wage premium, overeducation, and the expansion of higher education in the UK, doi
  6. (2001). The rising college premium in the eighties: return to college or return to unobserved ability? doi
  7. (2000). Understanding the role of cognitive ability in accounting for the recent rise in the economic return to education, doi
  8. (2003). Widening participation in higher education. London: Department for Education and Skills.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.