In this paper we investigate individual income differences between individuals with Master and PhD degrees over the first 20 years of a career. We compare monthly incomes of Dutch higher education graduates with the same years of experience, gender and field of study. It turns out that over the first 20 years of experience, the average annual return to a PhD education is not significantly different from zero. During the PhD track and the first years after PhD graduation PhDs earn less than Masters, but this is compensated by higher earnings in later years. Income differences differ strongly by sex.

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De Economist
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Wouterse, B., van der Wiel, K. (Karen), & van der Steeg, M. (2017). Income Differences Between PhDs and Masters: Evidence from The Netherlands. De Economist, 1–23. doi:10.1007/s10645-017-9304-9