CVER Discussion Papers Published – September 2019

education||0
Sector: Education and Labour Markets
Client: N/A
Published: August, 2019
Document type:  
Tagged: economics of education education quantitative analysis

The Centre for Vocational Educational Research, established in March 2015, brings together 4 partners who are experts in the educational arena, including London Economics. Recently, two discussion papers looking at labour market outcomes and progression in further education. More details and links to the papers are provided below.

 

  • Labour market outcomes disaggregated by subject area using the Longitudinal Education Outcomes  (LEO) data – August 2019

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the relationship between labour market outcomes and vocational qualifications disaggregated by subject area of study. Using individuals holding vocational qualifications in any subject at the level below as their highest level of achievement in the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) as the counterfactual group, we find that gaining vocational qualifications in most subject areas are associated with positive earnings differentials across all qualification aims, for both men and women. For qualifications in ‘Engineering’, ‘Construction’ and ‘Business and Law’, the magnitude of the association is particularly strong, especially for women. In contrast, qualifications in ‘Arts and Media’ are frequently associated with negative earnings differentials for men across all qualification aims. 

The paper can be accessed here.

 

  • The value of progression in further education – August 2019

Abstract: In this study, we investigate the value of progression associated with different vocational qualifications disaggregated by subject area of study. Previous analyses of labour market outcomes by subject of study demonstrated that estimates of labour market outcomes vary considerably by subject area, but this is in part as a result of the choice of counterfactual. In particular, the choice of the adjacent level of qualification (not controlling for subject of study) captures an ‘average’ return using learners with qualifications at the level below in any subject area in the counterfactual group. This approach does not take into account that learners tend to self-select in specific subject areas depending on their (observed and unobserved) characteristics and that transitions between completely different subject areas are unlikely to happen due to admissions criteria. 

The analysis of the value of progression confirms that in the majority of subject areas, the degree of specialisation increases as we move up in the qualifications framework, and that as such, comparing outcomes of individuals on particular subject pathways against anyone in possession of the adjacent level of qualification may not may not fully reflect the options concretely available to students and the associated expected gain from progressing to further study.  If we consider earnings trajectories within the same subject areas, earnings differentials associated with ‘Construction’, ‘Engineering’ and ‘Business and Law’ are strong and positive (but lower in magnitude compared to analyses using the counterfactual of all learners with qualifications at the level below), while subject areas with typically zero earnings differential in previous analysis (such as ‘Arts & Media’) are associated with positive earnings differentials when considering progression within the same subject area.

The paper can be accessed here.