High and steady or low and rising? Vocational versus general education in life-cycle earnings

Frank C÷rvers1, Hans Heijke2, Ben Kriechel1, Harald Pfeifer 3
1Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), The Netherlands, 2Maastricht University, The Netherlands, 3Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, Germany

In this paper, we compare experience-earnings profiles of employees with vocational and general education background in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, three countries with fundamentally different education systems. Using Mixed-Effects Linear Regression Models we show that earnings of employees with vocational education are higher in the initial phase of their career. However, generally educated catch up over the time on the labor market. Life-cycle differences in earnings are more pronounced in the United Kingdom than in the Netherlands and Germany.

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