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The signalling role of over-education and qualifications mismatch

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  • Garcia-Mainar, Inmaculada
  • Montuenga, Victor M.

Abstract

Over-education may arise from the voluntary decisions of individuals to acquire more qualifications than those required in the workplace, such that over-education may have a signaling role that allows workers to compensate for the lack of certain other skills, or to gain access to the labor market. This paper analyses the signaling role of over-education in Spain, a country characterised by a strongly-segmented labor market with high unemployment levels, and a large number of over-educated. Using micro data for a representative sample of Spanish workers, three different methods are applied to provide evidence that educational mismatch plays a clear signaling role. Policy implications are derived to alleviate inefficiencies in the allocation of educational resources and in the incentives of workers to use over-education as a signal.

Suggested Citation

  • Garcia-Mainar, Inmaculada & Montuenga, Victor M., 2019. "The signalling role of over-education and qualifications mismatch," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 99-119.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:41:y:2019:i:1:p:99-119
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpolmod.2019.02.015
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human capital; Over-education; Rate of return; Signaling;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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