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Returns to Education

Returns to education are a result of educational processes. They are determined by institutional conditions and hence they also emerge from educational contexts. They are closely connected to competencies and skills of individuals participating in educational processes – besides cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills are relevant, e.g. motivation and self-regulation. Various kinds of returns can be distinguished: those that can be measured in terms of monetary benefits, e.g. income and wages, versus returns that cannot or barely be measured in monetary terms, e.g. the increase of employment opportunities or higher status. Furthermore, returns to education include components not related to employment, e.g. health behavior or individual well-being. Returns to education from earlier periods influence returns to education in subsequent periods. Higher returns can also contribute to an increase in the welfare of society as a whole.


Contact: Prof. Dr. C. Katharina Spieß (DIW)

Projects with this research priority