Wenchao (Michelle) Jin

Wenchao (Michelle) Jin

Research Economist


MSc Economics (Distinction), University College London, 2013

BA Economics (1st Class), University of Cambridge, 2010


Wenchao joined the IFS in 2010 as a Research Economist in the skills and education sector. She has investigated recent reforms to the Higher Education funding regime, the effects of the National Minimum Wage on young people and on firms, and the impact of Universal Credit. Her current research interests are in the labour market and labour productivity since the great recession.

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The UK wage premium puzzle: how did a large increase in university graduates leave the education premium unchanged?

| Working Paper

Since the early-1990s the UK experienced an unprecedented increase in university graduates, but at the same time the age profile of the graduate premium remained largely unchanged across cohorts. This paper establishes the facts using a detailed analysis of micro-data on wage and employment patterns over the last two decades, benchmarked against the US economy. We then show that the stability of the age profile in the premium across different birth cohorts is unlikely to be explained by either composition changes or selection on unobservables.

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