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The Utilisation of Education and Skills: Incidence and Determinants among Pakistani Graduates


  • Shujaat Farooq

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad)


This study estimates the incidence of job mismatch and its determinants in Pakistan, based on three categories: (i) qualification mismatch, (i) skill mismatch, and (iii) field-of-study mismatch. It uses both primary and secondary datasets that target graduates employed by the formal sector. The study measures the qualification mismatch using three approaches and finds that about one third of the graduates sampled face a qualification mismatch. Similarly, more than one fourth are mismatched in terms of skill, about half are over-skilled, and half are underskilled. The analysis also shows that 11.3 percent hold jobs that are irrelevant to their discipline and 13.8 percent have jobs that are slightly relevant to their discipline. Women are more likely than men to be over-qualified, and age has a negative association with over-qualification. Graduates who belong to political families have a better qualification match but a lower field-of-study match. While a higher level of schooling prevents graduates from being under-qualified, it also raises the likelihood of being over-qualified and over-skilled. Occupation-specific disciplines offer more protection against the possibility of job mismatch. Both fulltime education and semester-system education reduce job mismatch, while distance learning raises job mismatch. The phenomena of being over-qualified and overskilled is more prevalent in lower occupations, as is field-of-study mismatch.

Suggested Citation

  • Shujaat Farooq, 2011. "The Utilisation of Education and Skills: Incidence and Determinants among Pakistani Graduates," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 50(3), pages 219-244.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:50:y:2011:i:3:p:219-244

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:pid:journl:v:56:y:2017:i:1:p:1-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Shujaat Farooq, 2015. "Job Mismatches in Pakistan: Is there Some Wage Penalty to Graduates?," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 54(2), pages 147-164.

    More about this item


    Education and Inequality; Higher Education; Human Capital; Labour Market;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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