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Journal article
Graduate returns, degree class premia and higher education expansion in the UK

April 2016
Paper No' :

Tags: cohort analysis; higher education; returns to education; student; wage; united kingdom

We investigate the extent to which graduate returns vary according to the class of degree achieved by UK university students, and examine changes over time in estimated degree class premia. Using a variety of complementary datasets for individuals born in the UK around 1970 and aged between 30 and 40, we estimate an hourly wage premium for a 'good' (relative to a 'lower') class of degree of 7% to 9%, implying a wide spread around the average graduate premium. We also estimate the premium for a good relative to a lower degree for different cohorts (those born between the mid-1960s and early 1980s), and find evidence that the premium for a good degree has risen over time as the proportions of cohorts participating in higher education have increased. © Oxford University Press 2015.