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Labour Market Under-Utilisation of Recent Higher Education Graduates: New Australian Panel Evidence

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  • Carroll, David

    ()
    (Macquarie University, Sydney)

  • Tani, Massimiliano

    ()
    (IZA)

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Abstract

Recent research into the Australian labour market has reported that a substantial proportion of the tertiary-educated labour force is under-utilised relative to their level of education, echoing findings from an expanding international literature. This paper uses recent panel data from the 2010 Beyond Graduation Survey to analyse the incidence of labour force under-utilisation amongst recent Australian graduates and its effect on their wages, with an under-utilised graduate defined as a one who is in a job for which a sub-degree qualification would suffice. We find that 26% of graduates were under-utilised immediately after course completion and 15% were under-utilised three years later, although this varied considerably between subgroups. Recent graduates were much more likely to remain under-utilised than become under-utilised later in their careers. Being under-utilised appears to affect the earnings of different graduate age groups in different ways. Controlling for unobserved heterogeneity, we find that younger graduates tend to earn the same mean wages regardless of whether or not they are under-utilised, while older under-utilised bachelor degree graduates are at a significant wage disadvantage relative to their peers. This is suggestive of a graduate skills surplus and, by extension, inefficient public and individual investment in human capital.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6047.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Over-education of recent higher education graduates: New Australian panel evidence' in: Economics of Education Review, 2013, 32, 207-218
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6047

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Keywords: graduate labour market; human capital; panel data;

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References

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  1. P. J. Sloane & H. Battu & P. T. Seaman, 1996. "Overeducation and the formal education/experience and training trade-off," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(8), pages 511-515.
  2. P. J. Sloane & H. Battu & P. T. Seaman, 1999. "Overeducation, undereducation and the British labour market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(11), pages 1437-1453.
  3. Parvinder Kler, 2007. "A panel data investigation into over-education among tertiary educated Australian immigrants," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(3), pages 179-193, September.
  4. Duncan, Greg J. & Hoffman, Saul D., 1981. "The incidence and wage effects of overeducation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 75-86, February.
  5. Parvinder Kler, 2005. "Graduate overeducation in Australia: A comparison of the mean and objective methods," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 47-72.
  6. Matloob Piracha & Massimiliano Tani & Florin Vadean, 2010. "Immigrant Over- and Under-education: The Role of Home Country Labour Market Experience," CEIS Research Paper 175, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 09 Dec 2010.
  7. Mavromaras, Kostas & McGuinness, Seamus & O?Leary, Nigel & Sloane, Peter & Fok, Yin King, 2009. "Job Mismatches and Labour Market Outcomes," Papers WP314, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
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