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Assessing the Incidence and Wage Effects of Overskilling in the Australian Labour Market

  • KOSTAS MAVROMARAS
  • SEAMUS MCGUINNESS
  • YIN KING FOK

This paper examines the incidence and wage effects of overskilling in Australia. It finds that approximately 30 per cent of employees believed themselves to be moderately overskilled and 11 per cent believed themselves to be severely overskilled. The incidence of skills mismatch varied little when the sample was split by education. After controlling for individual and job characteristics as well as the potential bias arising from individual unobserved heterogeneity, severely overskilled workers suffer an average wage penalty of 10.2 per cent with the penalty ranging from about 6 per cent among vocationally qualified employees to just less than 20 per cent for graduates. Copyright © 2009 The Economic Society of Australia.

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Article provided by The Economic Society of Australia in its journal Economic Record.

Volume (Year): 85 (2009)
Issue (Month): 268 (03)
Pages: 60-72

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:85:y:2009:i:268:p:60-72
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  1. Ingrid Linsley, 2005. "Causes of Overeducation in the Australian Labour Market," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 940, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-80, June.
  3. Derby Voon & Paul W. Miller, 2005. "Undereducation and Overeducation in the Australian Labour Market," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(s1), pages S22-S33, 08.
  4. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  5. 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.
  6. Séamus McGuinness, 2006. "Overeducation in the Labour Market," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 387-418, 07.
  7. 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.
  8. Ingrid Linsley, 2005. "Causes of Overeducation in the Australian Labour Market," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 8(2), pages 121-143, June.
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