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ERIC Number: ED533440
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
What Are the Returns on Higher Education for Individuals and Countries? Education Indicators in Focus. No. 6
OECD Publishing (NJ1)
Investing in higher (tertiary) education is one of the more significant decisions a person can make. In some countries, such as Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United States, the direct costs of higher education can be large, often requiring a significant investment of an individual's personal funds, either in up-front payments or loan repayments later on. Even in countries where the direct costs of higher education to an individual are much lower, such as Finland, Norway, and Turkey, the time invested in pursuing a degree--and the opportunity cost of foregone earnings while an individual is in school--can be a major factor. In light of the personal costs associated with pursuing a tertiary degree, how do the benefits compare? OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) analyses based on the most recent year of available data (2007 for most countries), suggest that as far as the long-term economic benefits of higher education are concerned, the return on investment is very good. This paper reports that: (1) On average across 25 OECD countries, the long-term economic advantage to an individual of having a tertiary degree instead of an upper secondary degree is over USD 175 000 for a man and USD 110 000 for a woman; (2) The long-term economic advantage to individuals with a tertiary education is about twice as large as the advantage for people with an upper secondary education as their highest educational level, on average across OECD countries; and (3) The net return to taxpayers on the public costs of supporting a man in higher education is over USD 91 000, and the return for supporting a woman in higher education is over USD 55 000, on average across OECD countries.
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Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development