Payoff from Advanced Degrees Has Increased in United States and Decreased in France

Julien Acalin (PIIE) and Melina Kolb (PIIE)

June 16, 2017

Payoff from Advanced Degrees Has Increased in United States and Decreased in France

In the last 20 years, higher education has become even more valuable in the United States and less so in France. This chart shows how wages with varying levels of education have compared to wages made with a high school diploma in 1990 and 2012. Americans who have not finished high school are earning relatively less while those with college and advanced degrees are earning relatively more. In France, the opposite is the case for those with only some high school education or an advanced degree. Those with some high school education are earning relatively more money, while those with an advanced degree are earning relatively less.  

These changes have created a larger wage gap between highly educated and uneducated Americans, and a smaller gap for the French. People with more education are still better off than those without higher degrees in both countries. Learn more in this blog post.

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