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Over-education: What influence does the workplace have?


  • Belfield, Clive


The wage and job satisfaction impacts for over-educated workers have been well-documented; yet little attention has been paid to the consequences for firms. In this paper we examine over-education from the perspective of the workplace. Using linked employer-employee data for the United Kingdom, we derive the standard worker-level penalties on wages and job satisfaction. We then show how over-education rates across workplaces adversely influence workplace pay and workplace labor relations. For individual workers who may be at-risk of over-education, we also distinguish between workforce composition effects and workplace labor practices, such as hiring. The effect of over-education on job satisfaction is particularly strong and its effects are evident at the workplace level. Our results suggest that investigations of over-education at the level of the firm are a promising area of inquiry.

Suggested Citation

  • Belfield, Clive, 2010. "Over-education: What influence does the workplace have?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 236-245, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:2:p:236-245

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. H. Battu & P. J. Sloane, 2004. "Over-Education and Ethnic Minorities in Britain," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 72(4), pages 535-559, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kiersztyn, Anna, 2013. "Stuck in a mismatch? The persistence of overeducation during twenty years of the post-communist transition in Poland," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 78-91.
    2. McGuinness, Seamus & Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Redmond, Paul, 2017. "How Useful Is the Concept of Skills Mismatch?," IZA Discussion Papers 10786, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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