University Selectivity and the Graduate Wage Premium: Evidence from the UK

35 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2017

See all articles by Ian Walker

Ian Walker

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Yu Zhu

University of Dundee

Abstract

We study the relative labour market wage outcomes of university graduates in the UK using the Labour Force Survey (LFS), matched to mean standardised admission scores at the institution *subject* cohort level using data on high school achievement scores of students admitted to these courses. Unlike earlier UK studies, we are able to consider the effect of differences in undergraduate degree subjects, degree class, and in particular the selectivity of the subject at the Higher Education Institution (HEI) attended. Our results show that selectivity of undergraduate degree programmes plays an important role in explaining the variation in the graduate wage premium across HEIs and subjects. In fact, much of the observed differential in relative wage outcomes across institutions *subjects is due to the quality of students that HEIs select.

Keywords: college selectivity, graduate wage premium

JEL Classification: I23, I26

Suggested Citation

Walker, Ian and Zhu, Yu, University Selectivity and the Graduate Wage Premium: Evidence from the UK. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10536, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2911474

Ian Walker (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
+44 1203 523 054 (Phone)
+44 1203 523 032 (Fax)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Yu Zhu

University of Dundee ( email )

Dundee, Scotland DD1 4HN
United Kingdom

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