Long-Run Effects of Catholic Schooling on Wages

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 39/13

Date: 2013

Author(s):

Nikhil Jha
Cain Polidano

Abstract

Previous studies have linked Catholic schooling to higher academic achievement. We add to the literature on Catholic schooling by examining its effect on long-term wage rates in Australia, independent of effects on academic achievement. Using panel data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) Survey and fixed effects estimation, we find that during the prime-time of a career, wage rates for Catholic school graduates progress with labor market experience at a greater rate, on average, than wage rates for public school graduates. Importantly, we find no evidence to suggest that these benefits are peculiar to Catholic schooling, with similar benefits estimated for graduates of independent private schools. These findings suggest that private schooling may be important in not only fostering higher academic achievement, but also in better preparing students for a working life.

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  • Catholic schooling, wages