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Returns to Education through Access to Higher-Paying Firms: Evidence from US Matched Employer-Employee Data

Niklas Engbom and Christian Moser ()

American Economic Review, 2017, vol. 107, issue 5, 374-78

Abstract: We use administrative US matched employer-employee data merged with detailed information on individuals' academic records to assess the extent to which returns to education are mediated by the sorting of workers across firms. We present three results. First, we confirm findings in the earlier literature of large pay differences across higher education degrees. Second, we show that up to one quarter of pay premiums for higher degrees are explained by between-firm pay differences. Third, higher degrees are associated with greater representation at the best-paying firms. We conclude that employer heterogeneity is an important factor in mediating the returns to education.

JEL-codes: I26 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20171013
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