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Sheer class? The extent and sources of variation in the UK graduate earnings premium

Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • L Education (General)
  • Hd Industries. Land Use. Labor


In this paper, we use the individual-level USR data for the whole population of 1993 leavers from the ¿old¿ universities of the UK to investigate the determinants of graduate occupational earnings. Among other results, we find that there are significant differences in the occupational earnings of leavers, according to: university attended, subject studied, degree class awarded, and Social Class of family background, ceteris paribus. Our results suggest that there is likely to be significant variation around the average rate of return to a first degree.

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