EPRI-ESDC Tax Linkage Project: Barista or Better?

This project uses administrative data on students provided by 14 PSE institutions from four Canadian provinces linked to tax records held at Statistics Canada to track the labour market outcomes of Canadian college (diploma) and university (bachelor’s) graduates from 2005 through 2013.

Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), with a contribution from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), and undertaken in partnership with Statistics Canada, the study has produced a range of findings, which both support and, conversely, sometimes challenge popular preconceptions.

Bachelor's Degree Graduates Results

Une version française des résultats des bacheliers est également disponible.

College Diploma Graduates Results

Une version française des diplômés collégiaux est également disponible.



Interactive Graphs

Click here to explore the results with interactive graphs ≫

Executive Summary

A stand-alone version of the Executive Summary of the EPRI-ESDC Tax Linkage report is available here.

Press Release

Click here for the Press Release (le communiqué en français est également disponible).


To access the full report, Barista or Better? New Evidence on Earnings of Post-Secondary Education Graduates: A Tax Linkage Approach, click here (une version en français est également disponible).

Also, you can access supporting materials here:

Media Coverage

October 27, 2017
New study debunks myth that arts graduates end up in low-paying job
Vice News

October 27, 2017
Debunking the Barista Fallacy: A New Way of Measuring Earnings of University Graduates
Ross Finnie, Richard E. Mueller, and Arthur Sweetman, C.D. Howe Institute Intelligence Memo

October 19, 2017
Canadian graduates all pass the barista bar
Ross Finnie, Arthur Sweetman, and Richard E. Mueller, Times Higher Education

March 3, 2017
As students move away from the humanities, universities adapt
Globe and Mail

September 19, 2016
Opinion: The cynics are wrong about the value of an Arts degree
Alan Shephard, Montreal Gazette

September 2, 2016
Is the university experience worth the cost?
Globe and Mail

August 26, 2016
‘The world does not owe you a job’: Weighing the cost of higher education
Business News Network

August 8, 2016
Busting the barista myth – higher education IS linked to higher salaries
Ross Finnie, Ottawa Citizen

August 4, 2016
Martin Hicks and Fiona Deller – An Homage to Good Data
It's Not Academic

July 31, 2016
It’s time to retire the myth of the educated barista
Globe and Mail

30 julliet 2016
Payant, le diplôme (pdf)
La Presse

July 28, 2016
Interview: The real value of a university degree in Canada
Global News

27 julliet 2016
Entrevue avec Ross Finnie, professeur à l'Université d'Ottawa
RDI, Économie

July 26, 2016
Interview: Wage Gap
CBC, The Exchange

July 26, 2016
Higher education still worth the money, new research suggests

July 26, 2016
Revenge of the arts: Why a liberal arts education pays off

July 26, 2016
Study finds men make 44% more than woman eight years after they graduate university, college
National Post

July 26, 2016
Study finds widening gender gap in earnings among post-secondary graduates
Ottawa Citizen

July 26, 2016
Wage gap grows rapidly after graduation, study finds
(pdf) Globe and Mail

July 26, 2016
Higher education does lead to higher incomes: University of Ottawa study
Toronto Star

Funded in part by the Goverenment of Canada's Sectoral Initiatives Program.

Financé en partie par le gouvernement du Canada par le biais du Programme d’appui aux initiatives sectorielles.