The boom in postgraduate education and its impact on wage inequality
by Joanne Lindley, Kings College London and Stephen Machin, London School of Economics
Mass participation in higher education has altered the typical path followed by university graduates. The norm used to be that after obtaining an undergraduate degree, people would finish their studies and enter the labour market. These days, many more students stay on to invest in postgraduate education. Indeed, by 2009 just over 10% of the workforce in Britain and the United States – and more than a third of all graduates – had a postgraduate qualification.
It is now widely understood that despite rapidly growing numbers of university-educated workers, increased relative demand for their skills has been a key driver of overall wage inequality.