College Graduates Do Not Make More Money

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

One of our favorite economists, Richard Vedder, actually looked at the numbers, starting with constant dollars that factor out inflation. “To be sure, there are different ways of measuring things :(using median or mean incomes, looking at all earners or simply those working, looking at males or at females, and also comparing different time periods),” he writes. “But from 2015 to 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau tells us the median annual income of male high school graduates in constant dollars rose a healthy $1,849, while those earnings declined by $565 for those with bachelor’s degrees.”

“The data are less striking for females, but the college/high school earnings differential did decline for them as well. Looking at males again and looking at the longer 2008 to 2017 period, the constant dollar earnings differential between high school and college graduates declined, albeit modestly. The claim the earnings differential is at an all-time high simply is not supported by rather authoritative evidence.”