In many countries on the European continent, it is feared that public funding of tertiary education (university and non-university) leads to an undesirable redistribution of income “from the bottom up”. The calculation of private rates of return is one way of answering this and other questions. This article proposes a new model for calculating private rates of return to education, which on the one hand takes into account the influence of existing wage structures and such institutional factors as the cost of education and the fiscal system, and on the other hand produces results that are relatively easy to interpret at the economic policy level. The first empirical results for Switzerland indicate that once educational costs have been deducted, wage-earning advantages would be too insignificant for it to be possible to speak of redistribution of income „from the bottom up“ in any meaningful way.
Journal of Economics and Statistics is a scientific journal published in Germany since 1863. The Journal publishes papers in all fields of economics and applied statistics. A specific focus is on papers combining theory with empirical analyses.