Document Abstract

Is improving access to university enough? Socio‐economic gaps in the earnings of English graduates, IN Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Jan 2019, pp328-368

Uses tax and student loan administrative data to investigate the variation in earnings of English graduates by socio-economic background. Finds that graduates from higher income families have average earning which are 20% higher than those from lower income families. Shows that graduates’ family background continues to influence graduates’ earnings long after graduation, and this socio-economic gap is not entirely explained by differences in the subjects studied or institutions attended, although it is approximately halved when these factors are taken into account. Suggests that the size of the earnings differences between the richest and poorest households is likely to be an underestimate as, for example, graduates’ earnings may be affected by the state of the labour market, with students from the wealthiest families being better able to secure good jobs that become scarce during a recession.


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Britton, Jack et al
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