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.

Download CV

The puzzle of graduate wages

| Briefing Note

The UK higher education sector has expanded remarkably over the past three decades. In 1993, 13% of 25- to 29-year-olds had first degrees or higher degrees. By 2015, this had roughly tripled to 41%. Naturally, one may wonder whether the big expansion has reduced the economic returns to having a first degree. We have all heard stories about graduate unemployment and graduates employed in low-wage jobs. But what do the data show and what can we learn from history?

Find out more