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Overqualification, Job Dissatisfaction, and Increasing Dispersion in the Returns to Graduate Education

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  • Francis Green

    ()

  • Yu Zhu

    ()

Abstract

Increasing dispersion in the returns to graduate education is found, using quantile regression. This trend is related to rising overqualification. We distinguish between and validate measures of Real and Formal overqualification, according to whether it is or is not accompanied by underutilisation of skill; and using a unique data series in Britain we report the trend in overqualification types between 1992 and 2006. The distinction between types is relevant because employees in the Real Overqualification group experience greater, and more sharply rising, pay penalties than those in the Formal Overqualification group. Real Overqualification, but not Formal Overqualification, is associated with job dissatisfaction. Formal Overqualification has been increasing over time, and in 2006 characterised nearly one in four graduates. Real Overqualification has been steady or rising only slowly; in 2006 it affected less than one in ten graduates. Conditioning on graduates being matched to graduate jobs, it is found that there is no significant increase in the dispersion of returns to graduate education. The normative implication drawn is that the state should provide regular public information on the distribution of the returns to graduate education.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 0803.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0803

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
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Keywords: pay; job satisfaction; job dissatisfaction; overeducation; overqualification; skill utilisation; returns to college education; returns to graduate education;

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  1. Walker, Ian & Zhu, Yu, 2005. "The College Wage Premium, Overeducation, and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 1627, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Andy Dickerson & Francis Green, 2004. "The growth and valuation of computing and other generic skills," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 371-406, July.
  3. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and lovely jobs: the rising polarization of work in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20002, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Francis Green & Steven McIntosh, 2007. "Is there a genuine under-utilization of skills amongst the over-qualified?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 427-439.
  5. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Arnaud Chevalier, 2003. "Measuring Over-education," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(279), pages 509-531, 08.
  7. Arnaud Chevalier & Joanne Lindley, 2009. "Overeducation and the skills of UK graduates," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 172(2), pages 307-337.
  8. Frenette, Marc, 2004. "The overqualified Canadian graduate: the role of the academic program in the incidence, persistence, and economic returns to overqualification," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 29-45, February.
  9. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Ming-Ching Luoh, 2003. "Gender Differences in Completed Schooling," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 559-577, August.
  10. Acemoglu, Daron, 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 1707, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
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  1. Jockeys, whips & market failure
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-09-27 13:49:53
  2. Why cut university spending?
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2010-02-13 12:52:52
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