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Asymmetric Information And Overeducation

  • Mendolicchio Concetta


    (Institute for Employment Research - IAB)

  • Paolini Dimitri


    (Université Catholique de Louvain)

  • Pietra Tito


    (Università di Bologna)

We consider an economy where production may use labor of two different skill levels. Workers are heterogeneous and, by investing in education, self-select into one of the two skills. Ex-ante, when firms choose their investments in physical capital, they do not know the level of human capital prevailing in the labor market they will be active in. We prove existence and constrained inefficiency of competitive equilibria, which are always characterized by overeducation. An increase in total expected surplus can be obtained by shrinking, at the margin, the set of workers investing in high skills. This can be implemented by imposing taxes on the cost of investing in high skills or by imposing a progressive labor earning tax.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 12 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 1-29

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:12:y:2012:i:1:n:47
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  1. Mendolicchio, Concetta & Paolini, Dimitri & Pietra, Tito, 2011. "Income taxes, subsidies to education, and investments in human capital," IAB Discussion Paper 201107, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  2. Daniel Heuermann & Benedikt Halfdanarson & Jens Suedekum, 2010. "Human Capital Externalities and the Urban Wage Premium: Two Literatures and their Interrelations," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 47(4), pages 749-767, April.
  3. Lans Bovenberg, A. & Jacobs, Bas, 2005. "Redistribution and education subsidies are Siamese twins," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2005-2035, December.
  4. Charlot, Olivier & Decreuse, Bruno, 2005. "Self-selection in education with matching frictions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 251-267, April.
  5. Bas Jacobs & Dirk Schindler & Hongyan Yang, 2009. "Optimal Taxation of Risky Human Capital," CESifo Working Paper Series 2529, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Bas Jacobs, 2005. "Optimal Income Taxation with Endogenous Human Capital," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(2), pages 295-315, 05.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804, August.
  8. Jonathan Eaton & Harvey Rosen, 1979. "Taxation, Human Capital and Uncertainty," Working Papers 497, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Bas Jacobs & Lans Bovenberg, 2008. "Optimal Taxation of Human Capital and theEarnings Function," CESifo Working Paper Series 2250, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521715348 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. A. Lans Bovenberg & Bas Jacobs, 2005. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-036/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521887427 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Anderberg, Dan & Andersson, Fredrik, 2003. "Investments in human capital, wage uncertainty, and public policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1521-1537, August.
  14. Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2014. "Foreign direct investment and search unemployment: Theory and evidence," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 41-56.
  15. Poeschel, Friedrich, 2012. "The time trend in the matching function," IAB Discussion Paper 201203, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  16. Duranton, Gilles & Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Mayneris, Florian, 2010. "The Economics of Clusters: Lessons from the French Experience," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199592203.
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