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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

We report increasing dispersion in the returns to graduate education in Britain, and relate this development to rising overqualification. We distinguish 'Real' and 'Formal' overqualification, according to whether it is accompanied by underutilization of skill. Employees in the former group experience greater, and more sharply rising, pay penalties than those in the latter group. Real Overqualification, but not Formal Overqualification, is associated with job dissatisfaction. While Formal Overqualification has been increasing over time, Real Overqualification has been steady or rising only slowly. The normative implication drawn is that the state should provide regular information on the distribution of the returns to graduate education. Copyright 2010 Oxford University Press 2010 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Francis Green & Yu Zhu, 2010. "Overqualification, job dissatisfaction, and increasing dispersion in the returns to graduate education," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 740-763, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:62:y:2010:i:4:p:740-763
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • 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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