Raising the Floor While Lowering the Ceiling: Reduced Inequities in Education Returns in the Philippines

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This article examines trends in private returns to education in the Philippines among salaried graduates in 2005 and 2019 – a period during which education participation improved markedly in the country. I find returns to differing levels of attainment converging, with those for higher education falling substantially by 36 % points, relative to those with no grade completed. I further find that among college graduates, the decline was most pronounced for low-wage workers whose returns fell by 69 % points, while those for high-wage ones remained stable. This is an important update to literature which found higher education to provide disproportionate returns to low-wage college graduates a decade prior.