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Tertiary education for all and wage inequality: policy insights from quantile regression

Corrado Andini (Department of Management and Economics, University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal) (Department of Juridical and Economic Studies, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy) (Centre of Applied Economic Studies of the Atlantic (CEEAplA), Ponta Delgada, Portugal) (Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), Bonn, Germany) (Global Labor Organization (GLO), Essen, Germany)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 29 November 2022

6

Abstract

Purpose

The aim is to assess how a policy of tertiary education for all affects the shape of the unconditional earnings distribution.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses the quantile-regression literature looking at the link between education and wage inequality, also proving new evidence based on unconditional quantile regressions.

Findings

The findings support the idea that a policy of tertiary education for all increases the overall level of wage inequality.

Research limitations/implications

The research has implications for public policy and administration. Among the limitations, the paper does not deal with distributional aspects related to other outcomes (e.g. health outcomes) of the policy of interest.

Practical implications

The analysis highlights a series of potential government interventions aimed at reducing the wage-inequality externalities of the policy of interest.

Social implications

A policy of tertiary education for all, by itself, is not useful to fight wage inequality.

Originality/value

This paper belongs to the small group of studies using unconditional quantile regressions to study the link between education and wage inequality. It is the first study specifically looking at the distributional effects of a policy of tertiary education for all.

Keywords

Citation

Andini, C. (2022), "Tertiary education for all and wage inequality: policy insights from quantile regression", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JES-05-2022-0313

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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