The Theory of Differential Overqualification: Does it Work?
AbstractThe theory of differential overqualification, developed by Robert Frank (1978), claims that married women in smaller labor 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 labor 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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 511.
Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 2003, 50 (1), 1-16
Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Harminder Battu & Paul Seaman & Peter Sloane, 1998.
"Are married women spatially constrained? A test of gender differentials in labour market outcomes,"
ERSA conference papers
ersa98p24, European Regional Science Association.
- Battu, H. & Seaman, P.T & Sloane, P.J., . "Are Married Women Spatially Constrained? A test of gender differentials in labour market outcomes," Working Papers 98-07, Department of Economics, University of Aberdeen.
- Sicherman, Nachum, 1991.
""Overeducation" in the Labor Market,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 101-22, April.
- Nachum Sicherman, 1987. "Over-Education in the Labor Market," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 48, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-73, October.
- Ofek, Haim & Merrill, Yesook, 1997. "Labor Immobility and the Formation of Gender Wage Gaps in Local Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 28-47, January.
- McGoldrick, KimMarie & Robst, John, 1996. "Gender Differences in Overeducation: A Test of the Theory of Differential Overqualification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 280-84, May.
- Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2000. "Introduction to special issue on overschooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 129-130, April.
- Sandell, Steven H, 1977. "Women and the Economics of Family Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(4), pages 406-14, November.
- Frank, Robert H, 1978. "Why Women Earn Less: The Theory and Estimation of Differential Overqualification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(3), pages 360-73, June.
- Topel, Robert H, 1986. "Local Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S111-43, June.
- Aniela Wirz, 2004. "To my Wife, with Love! Does Within-household Specialisation Explain Husbands' Better Job-education-match?," KOF Working papers 04-93, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
- Boll, Christina & Leppin, Julian Sebastian, 2013. "Unterwertige Beschäftigung von Akademikerinnen und Akademikern: Umfang, Ursachen, Einkommenseffekte und Beitrag zur geschlechtsspezifischen Lohnlücke," HWWI Policy Papers 75, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.