Skill Upgrading in New Zealand, 1986-2001

Published: 2009

Authors: Dean Hyslop, Dave Maré

Educational attainment increased markedly in New Zealand between 1986 and 2001, while the income premia for higher qualifications first increased and then stabilised or decreased over the 1990s.

We first document the growth in qualification-based skills and then examine its contribution to average income growth and the relationship with relative demand changes. Of the 15 per cent increase in real average incomes between 1986 and 2001, upskilling accounted for 25 per cent, while 70 per cent was due to income growth across all qualifications.

The pattern of qualification employment share and relative income changes provides evidence of changing demand for skills within detailed industry-occupation cells.

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Hyslop, Dean and David C. Maré. 2009. "Skill Upgrading in New Zealand, 1986-2001," Australian Economic Review, 42:4, pp. 422-434.