How does the earnings advantage of tertiary-educated workers evolve across generations?
• The earnings advantage of tertiary-educated workers is highest in countries where a low share of adults have completed tertiary education, such as Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico.
• Tertiary-educated 55-64 year-olds have a higher earnings advantage than tertiary- educated 25-34 year-olds due to their relative scarcity and their longer experience in the labour market.
• Tertiary-educated workers with high literacy skills have considerably higher earnings than tertiary-educated workers with lower skills.
Older tertiary-educated workers experience a greater earnings advantage
In most OECD and partner countries, older tertiary-educated workers benefit from a higher earnings advantage over those with upper-secondary education than their younger peers. Across OECD countries, the earnings advantage of tertiary-educated workers doubles from about 35% among 25-34 year-old workers to about 70% among 55-64 year-old workers. In Austria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the advantage for older tertiary-educated workers is at least 50 percentage points higher than the advantage for younger tertiary-educated workers (Figure 2).
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