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What lies behind the devaluation of educational credentials?
Ortiz Gervasi, Luis
Rodríguez, Jorge (Rodríguez Menés)
Applying fixed-effects models to EULFS data on Spain from 1998 to2006, the paper explores the effects of educational expansion on theoccupational returns to education across different levels of education.We build an indicator of the positional value of education, based on theidea that the value of a given educational credential partly depends onthe percentage of labour market entrants who have reached that level atthe time when individuals enter the labour market -- it is higher whenfewer individuals have reached it, lower otherwise. Our analysis for theSpanish case shows that the decrease in the occupational returns toeducation goes in parallel with the decrease in the positional value ofeducation, but this devaluation of credentials has been stronger ingeneral education (e.g., in humanities or social sciences universitydegrees, or in upper secondary general education) than in specializededucation (e.g., in technical fields in the university, or in uppervocational training). We argue that the reason for this is most likely thatgeneral education provides a more diffuse signal of candidates’ skillsthan specialized education. We also find that this devaluation ofcredentials has been stronger in fields accessed by women in largernumbers in last decades.
Educació -- Espanya
Mercat de treball -- Efecte de l'educació sobre el
Sociologia de l'educació -- Espanya
3 - Ciències socials

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