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An Analysis of Skill Mismatch Using Direct Measures of Skills

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  • Richard Desjardins
  • Kjell Rubenson

Abstract

The focus of this study is on the potential causes of skill mismatch, the extent of skill mismatch, the sociodemographic make-up of skill mismatch, and the consequences of skill mismatch in terms of earnings as well as employer sponsored adult education/training. A distinction is made between skill mismatch and education mismatch. The analysis is based on the 2003-2007 Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALLS) – a dataset similar to the one that is forthcoming from the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) in 2013. These studies contain direct measures of key foundation skills as well as measures of the use of certain generic skills at work which allow for a direct measure of skill mismatch. The analysis points to the complex ways in which mismatch is generated and the need for an accurate and up to date measure of mismatch, one that reflects the possibilities for skill gain and skill loss over the lifespan, and reflects differences in the quality of qualifications. Two key findings stand out. First, including supply and demand characteristics in an earnings function reveals that labour demand characteristics are more important than labour supply characteristics in explaining earnings differentials. In other words, skills matter for earnings but only if they are required by the job. This has direct implications for understanding better the causes of mismatch on earnings. Second, the skill content of jobs seems to be an even stronger determinant of participation in employer supported adult education/training than educational attainment or literacy proficiency. The influence of demand characteristics thus tends to outweigh the influence of supply characteristics when employers make the decision to support adult education/training. Addressing mismatch thus requires a careful consideration of both the demand and supply sides of the labour market, so as to understand better the variety of factors which may have a negative impact on the effectiveness of skill formation, skill maintenance, and also skill use. Le présent document a pour thème l’inadéquation des compétences. Il évoque tour à tour ses causes potentielles, son ampleur et de sa répartition socio-démographique, ainsi que ses répercussions sur le niveau des revenus et sur la participation à la formation pour adultes financée par l’employeur. On notera la distinction établie entre inadéquation des compétences et inadéquation de l'éducation. L'analyse repose sur les résultats de l'Enquête sur l’alphabétisation des adultes (ALLS), menée en 2003-2007 qui rassemble un ensemble de données similaire à celui que le Programme pour l'évaluation internationale des compétences des adultes (PIAAC) rendra public en 2013. Ces deux enquêtes proposent des mesures directes des compétences élémentaires et de l'utilisation au travail de certaines compétences génériques, permettant ainsi une évaluation directe de l'inadéquation des compétences. Ce document décrit les situations complexes qui sont à la source d’une inadéquation des compétences et démontre la nécessité d'une mesure précise et actualisée de cette inadéquation, qui prenne en considération les occasions d’acquérir ou de perdre des compétences au cours de la vie, ainsi que les différences dans la qualité des compétences. Deux conclusions principales ressortent de ces analyses. Premièrement, la prise en compte des caractéristiques de l’offre et de la demande de travail dans une logique de rémunération permet de constater que lorsqu’il s’agit d’expliquer les écarts de rémunération, les caractéristiques de la demande de travail sont plus importantes que ne le sont celles de l'offre. En d'autres termes, les compétences ont un impact sur la rémunération uniquement dans la mesure où elles sont requises pour occuper l'emploi. Cette constatation permet de mieux comprendre les causes des écarts de rémunération. Deuxièmement, la nature des compétences requises par les emplois semble être un facteur encore plus déterminant de la participation des adultes à la formation financée par l’employeur que ne le sont le niveau d'instruction ou les compétences en littératie. L'influence des caractéristiques de la demande a donc tendance à l'emporter sur l'influence des caractéristiques de l'offre lorsque les employeurs prennent la décision de financer la formation des adultes. Aborder la question de l’inadéquation nécessite donc un examen attentif à la fois de la demande et de l'offre du marché du travail, afin de mieux comprendre la diversité des facteurs qui peuvent exercer un impact négatif sur l'efficacité de la formation, le maintien et aussi l'utilisation des compétences.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kg3nh9h52g5-en
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Education Working Papers with number 63.

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Date of creation: 17 Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oec:eduaab:63-en

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Cited by:
  1. Summerfield, Fraser, 2014. "Labor Market Conditions, Skill Requirements and Education Mismatch," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2014-19, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Apr 2014.
  2. Mavromaras, Kostas G. & Sloane, Peter J. & Wei, Zhang, 2013. "The Scarring Effects of Unemployment, Low Pay and Skills Under-utilisation in Australia Compared," IZA Discussion Papers 7440, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Mitra, Arup, 2013. "Can industry be the key to pro-poor growth? : An exploratory analysis for India," ILO Working Papers 484346, International Labour Organization.
  4. Berlingieri, Francesco & Erdsiek, Daniel, 2012. "How relevant is job mismatch for German graduates?," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-075, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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