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Education and Wage Inequality in Portugal

Santiago Budria Rodriguez () and Celso Nunes ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: This article summarises the recent literature on the relationship between inequality in wages and education for Portugal. The main conclusions are the following. First, Portu-gal is one of the OECD countries with lowest educational level. At the same time, re-turns to education are large, and suggest that skills are particularly valuable in the Por-tuguese labour market. Second, over the last two decades returns to education increased steadily, which suggests that skill-biased technological change is partly responsible for the observed pattern. Analysis of the returns across educational levels and the dispersion of returns over the wage distribution reveals that education may have helped to increase both between-group and within-group inequality. Third, the recent evolution of average years of education has lead to a considerable increase in the standard measures of over-education, particularly among younger cohorts. Since schooling mis-matches are associated with lower wages, recent changes in the educational composition of the workforce may have conse-quences for the wage distribution. Fourth, some conclusions can also be established on the interaction between formal education and acquired skills. Most forms of training are associ-ated with higher wages and appear to act as remedial education. Less educated individuals are less likely to get trained. However, once trained, they obtain larger returns. Finally, analysis of employment opportunities and school-to-work transitions suggests that more edu-cated individuals benefit from better job opportunities and receive more job offers.

Keywords: Wage inequality; Returns to education; signalling; training (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J31 D31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-hrm and nep-lab
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Published in Education and Wage Inequality in Europe: A Literature Review, Rita Asplund and Erling Barth (eds.) (2005): pp. 299-320

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