Earnings of university dropouts across Europe

Berlingieri, Francesco ; Bolz, Theresa

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URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/58592
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-585926
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2020
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 20-085
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: I23 , I26 , J31,
Keywords (English): University dropout , returns to higher education , international comparisons
Abstract: This paper investigates relative earnings of individuals leaving tertiary education without a degree across 18 European countries employing survey data on adult workers. We find that, on average, university dropouts earn 8% more than those never enrolling into tertiary education, but 25% less than university graduates. Moreover, university dropouts do not appear to have better employment chances than other upper secondary graduates while they have a significantly lower employment probability than those graduating from tertiary education. We document substantial heterogeneity across countries concerning whether university attendance without completion is rewarded in the labour market. We find some suggestive evidence that university dropouts are less penalised in terms of earnings in countries with a lower share of tertiary graduates and with more flexible labour market policies.

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