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Returns to Postgraduate Education in Portugal:Holding on to a Higher Ground?

André Almeida (), Hugo Figueiredo, João Cerejeira (), Miguel Portela (), Carla Sá and Pedro Teixeira
Additional contact information
André Almeida: Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies
Hugo Figueiredo: Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies (CIPES); DEGEIT and GOVCOPP, University of Aveiro
Carla Sá: NIPE/University of Minho, http://www.eeg.uminho.pt

No 08/2017, NIPE Working Papers from NIPE - Universidade do Minho

Abstract: In this paper we use a large official employer-employee data set to document and decompose the rising graduates postgraduates’ wage differentials in Portugal. Using a non-parametric matching exercise we disentangle two different sources of postgraduates’ relative earnings: higher wages within the same type of occupations and the access to better paid occupations. We further look at displacement and deskilling effects due to relative demand inertia as possible sources of the evolution of relative earnings. Our results show that both displacement and deskilling effects, particularly of graduates with only a first-degree, appear to be at least as important as direct productivity effects in explaining postgraduates premiums. We also conclude that the relative importance of the former has been steadily increasing overtime and that, on the contrary, the net creation of high-paying, postgraduateonly jobs has been relatively modest. This evidence suggests that postgraduate degrees have largely worked as a way of holding on to a higher ground.

Keywords: Postgraduate; Wage Differentials; Inequality; Polarization; Skills (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab
Date: 2017
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