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CentrePiece article
In brief... The rewards for getting a good degree
Robin A. Naylor, Jeremy Smith and Shqiponja Telhaj
February 2016
Paper No' CEPCP464:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 20 (3) Winter 2015/2016

JEL Classification: J31; J24; I23; D82

Tags: graduate returns; higher education participation; ability composition

It pays to study hard at university, according to research by Shqiponja Telhaj and colleagues. Their study finds that there is a significant hourly wage premium for getting a first or upper second. For graduates more than five years out of university, the wage premium for a good degree is 7-9%. Does an individual’s educational achievement at university affect their pay later in life? This research looks at evidence on degree classes and UK graduate earnings during the period of expansion of higher education. It shows that as more young people get degrees, the premium for graduating with a good degree increases.

This article summarises ‘Graduate Returns, Degree Class Premia and Higher Education Expansion in the UK’ by Robin Naylor, Jeremy Smith and Shqiponja Telhaj, CEP Discussion Paper No.1392, November 2015.