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The Theory of Differential Overqualification: Does it Work?

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  • Felix Buchel

    (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin and Technical University of Berlin)

  • Harminder Battu

    (University of Aberdeen)

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    Abstract

    The theory of differential overqualification, developed by Robert Frank (1978), claims that married women in smaller labour markets have a higher risk of working in jobs for which they are overqualified. This stems from the problem of dual job search for couples which is much more difficult to optimize than single job search. Here, for several reasons husbands tend to first optimize their individual job search. Their wives are "tied movers" or "tied stayers" in the sense that their job search is undertaken under the condition that the job search of their husbands is optimized. This leads especially in smaller labour markets to a higher risk of a mismatch between formal qualifications and job requirements. The only specific empirical test of this theory, until now, has been performed by McGoldrick and Robst (1996). Their results, using US data, do not support the theory. Using German panel data (GSOEP), we also test the theory of differential overqualification. Unlike previous studies we control for commuting distances and our own results provide some mixed support for the differential overqualification hypothesis. Copyright Scottish Economic Society 2003

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Scottish Economic Society in its journal Scottish Journal of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 50 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 1-16

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:50:y:2003:i:1:p:1-16

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    Cited by:
    1. Raúl Ramos & Esteban Sanromá, 2013. "Overeducation and Local Labour Markets in Spain," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 104(3), pages 278-291, 07.
    2. Signe Jauhiainen, 2006. "Regional Differences in Overeducation," ERSA conference papers ersa06p180, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Peter Huber, 2012. "Do commuters suffer from job--education mismatch?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 349-352, March.
    4. Ingrid Linsley, 2005. "Overeducation in the Australian Labour Market : Its Incidence and Effects," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series, The University of Melbourne 939, The University of Melbourne.
    5. Joanne Lindley & Steven McIntosh, 2008. "A Panel Data Analysis of the Incidence and Impact of Over-education," Working Papers, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics 2008009, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2008.
    6. Peter Huber, 2011. "Educational Attainment and Education-job Mismatch of Cross-border Commuters in the EU," WIFO Working Papers, WIFO 388, WIFO.
    7. Michael Quinn & Stephen Rubb, 2011. "Spouse Overeducation and Family Migration: Evidence from the US," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 36-45, March.
    8. van Ham, Maarten & Büchel, Felix, 2004. "Females' Willingness to Work and the Discouragement Effect of a Poor Local Childcare Provision," IZA Discussion Papers 1220, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Maite Bl�zquez & Santiago Budría, 2012. "Overeducation dynamics and personality," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 260-283, March.
    10. repec:wyi:journl:002178 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Peter Huber & Klaus Nowotny & Julia Bock-Schappelwein, 2010. "Qualification Structure, Over- and Underqualification of the Foreign Born in Austria and the EU," FIW Research Reports series, FIW II-008, FIW.
    12. Mañé Vernet, Ferran & Miravet, Daniel, 2010. "Sobreeducación y Sobrecualificación en los Universitarios Catalanes. Una perspectiva de género," Working Papers 2072/179592, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.

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