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The UK as a Technological Follower: Higher Education Expansion and the College Wage Premium

Blundell, Richard; Green, David A; Jin, Wenchao; (2022) The UK as a Technological Follower: Higher Education Expansion and the College Wage Premium. Review of Economic Studies , 89 (1) pp. 142-180. 10.1093/restud/rdab034. Green open access

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Abstract

The proportion of U.K. people with university degrees tripled between 1993 and 2015. However, over the same period the time trend in the college wage premium has been extraordinarily flat. We show that these patterns cannot be explained by composition changes. Instead, we present a model in which firms choose between centralized and decentralized organizational forms and demonstrate that it can explain the main patterns. We also show the model has implications that differentiate it from both the exogenous skill-biased technological change model and the endogenous invention model, and that U.K. data fit with those implications. The result is a consistent picture of the transformation of the U.K. labour market in the last two decades.

Type: Article
Title: The UK as a Technological Follower: Higher Education Expansion and the College Wage Premium
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/restud/rdab034
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/restud/rdab034
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Review of Economic Studies Limited. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10144212
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