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Heaven knows I’m miserable now: overeducation and reduced life satisfaction

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  • Piper, Alan T.

Abstract

This study is an investigation into relative overeducation and life satisfaction using British longitudinal data. The focus is on young people rather than the whole of the life cycle, avoiding the possibility that overeducation may simply capture the increased participation in Higher Education of the young. The hypothesis is that there is a negative relationship between being overeducated and life satisfaction, and a key reason for this relates to comparisons (both with others, and the past). Using dynamic panel analysis, to account for omitted dynamics, such an association is found: the relatively overeducated seem to be relatively less happy. This result appears to fade over time, consistent with the relative comparisons notion. In addition, evidence is presented that income compensates somewhat for the loss of life satisfaction incurred by the overeducation.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 46926.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision: May 2013
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:46926

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Keywords: Life Satisfaction; Happiness; Overeducation; Dynamic Panel Analysis; BHPS;

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References

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  1. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  2. Maite Bl�zquez & Santiago Budría, 2012. "Overeducation dynamics and personality," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 260-283, March.
  3. Rubb, S., 2003. "Overeducation in the labor market: a comment and re-analysis of a meta-analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 621-629, December.
  4. D. Verhaest & E. Omey, 2004. "The impact of overeducation and its measurement," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/215, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  5. Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. ""Overeducation" in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 101-22, April.
  6. Christopher Boyce & Alex Wood & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2013. "Is Personality Fixed? Personality Changes as Much as “Variable” Economic Factors and More Strongly Predicts Changes to Life Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 287-305, March.
  7. Kiker, B. F. & Santos, Maria C. & de Oliveira, M. Mendes, 1997. "Overeducation and undereducation: Evidence for Portugal," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 111-125, April.
  8. Groot, Wim, 1993. "Overeducation and the returns to enterprise-related schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 299-309, December.
  9. David Roodman, 2009. "How to do xtabond2: An introduction to difference and system GMM in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(1), pages 86-136, March.
  10. Battu, H. & Belfield, C. R. & Sloane, P. J., . "Overeducation Among Graduates: A Cohort View," Working Papers 98-03, Department of Economics, University of Aberdeen.
  11. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
  12. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2008. "The College Wage Premium and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK," Studies in Economics 0809, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  13. Piper, Alan T., 2012. "Dynamic Analysis and the Economics of Happiness: Rationale, Results and Rules," MPRA Paper 43248, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2012.
  14. Christopher Fleming & Parvinder Kler, 2008. "I'm too clever for this job: a bivariate probit analysis on overeducation and job satisfaction in Australia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(9), pages 1123-1138.
  15. Piper, Alan T., 2012. "A Happiness Test of Human Capital Theory," MPRA Paper 43496, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. 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.
  17. Richard R. Verdugo & Naomi Turner Verdugo, 1989. "The Impact of Surplus Schooling on Earnings: Some Additional Findings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 629-643.
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Cited by:
  1. Piper, Alan, 2013. "A Note on Modelling Dynamics in Happiness Estimations," MPRA Paper 49364, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Piper, Alan T., 2014. "Sliding down the U-shape? An investigation of the age-well-being relationship, with a focus on young adults," MPRA Paper 55819, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Piper, Alan T., 2013. "Europe’s capital cities and the happiness penalty: an investigation using the European Social Survey," MPRA Paper 47793, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Piper, Alan T., 2012. "A Happiness Test of Human Capital Theory," MPRA Paper 43496, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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