Are Austrian Returns to Education Falling Over Time?
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In this paper, we make a systematic presentation of returns to education in Austria for the period 1981–1997. We use consistent cross-sections from the Mikrozensus and find falling returns over time. These falling returns are neither caused by changes in the sample design and reduced
willingness to reveal personal incomes in the survey, nor by a declining quality of education. Moreover, it is shown that especially returns to tertiary and secondary education have fallen. Estimating quantile regressions provides further interesting insights: returns fall for all quantiles
alike, but the spread of returns is much lower for females. The overall picture of falling returns is consistent with a rise in the supply of highly educated workers in the last two decades.