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Causes of Overeducation in the Australian Labour Market

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  • Ingrid Linsley
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    Abstract

    Overeducation is a form of labour underutilisation which occurs when the formal education level of a worker exceeds that which is required for the job. In Australia close to 30 per cent of workers are overeducated and are underutilising their skills. Using data from the Negotiating the Life Course survey, this study determines the causes of overeducation in Australia. Four of the key theories that have been used to explain overeducation are tested: human capital, job competition, assignment and the career mobility theories. Tests show that the job competition model best explains the existence of overeducation in the Australian labour market.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 940.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:940

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    Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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    Keywords: Overeducation; labour market; human capital theory; career mobility;

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    References

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    1. Arnaud Chevalier, 2003. "Measuring Over-education," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(279), pages 509-531, 08.
    2. 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.
    3. Ingrid Linsley, 2005. "Overeducation in the Australian Labour Market : Its Incidence and Effects," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 939, The University of Melbourne.
    4. Dolton, Peter & Vignoles, Anna, 2000. "The incidence and effects of overeducation in the U.K. graduate labour market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 179-198, April.
    5. John Robst, 1995. "Career Mobility, Job Match, and Overeducation," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 539-550, Fall.
    6. Groot, Wim & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, 2000. "Overeducation in the labor market: a meta-analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 149-158, April.
    7. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-80, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
    10. Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. ""Overeducation" in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 101-22, April.
    11. Hartog, Joop, 1986. "Allocation and the Earnings Function," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 97-110.
    12. Hartog, Joop, 2000. "Over-education and earnings: where are we, where should we go?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 131-147, April.
    13. Mendes de Oliveira, M. & Santos, M. C. & Kiker, B. F., 2000. "The role of human capital and technological change in overeducation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 199-206, April.
    14. Hersch, Joni, 1991. "Education Match and Job Match," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 140-44, February.
    15. Tsang, Mun C. & Levin, Henry M., 1985. "The economics of overeducation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 93-104, April.
    16. 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.
    17. Alfonso Alba-Ramírez, 1993. "Mismatch in the Spanish Labor Market: Overeducation?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(2), pages 259-278.
    18. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. Seamus McGuinness & Mark Wooden, 2007. "Overskilling, Job Insecurity and Career Mobility: Evidence from Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2007n09, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    2. Kitae Sohn, 2010. "The Role of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills in Overeducation," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 124-145, June.
    3. Tsai, Yuping, 2010. "Returns to overeducation: A longitudinal analysis of the U.S. labor market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 606-617, August.
    4. Croce, Giuseppe & Ghignoni, Emanuela, 2011. "Overeducation and spatial flexibility in Italian local labour markets," MPRA Paper 29670, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Kostas Mavromaras & Seamus McGuinness & Yin King Fok, 2007. "Assessing the Incidence and Wage Effects of Over-skilling in the Australian Labour Market," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2007n32, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    6. Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "Does Immigration Policy Affect the Education-Occupation Mismatch? Evidence from Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 6937, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. 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.
    8. Carroll, David & Tani, Massimiliano, 2013. "Over-education of recent higher education graduates: New Australian panel evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 207-218.

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