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A Mismatch Made in Heaven: A Hedonic Analysis of Overeducation and Undereducation

Listed author(s):
  • Daniel P. McMillen


    (Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago)

  • Paul T. Seaman


    (Department of Economic Studies, University of Dundee)

  • Larry D. Singell Jr


    (Department of Economics, University of Oregon)

In this paper, a hedonic pairing process is modeled in which some workers may be overeducated or undereducated as an equilibrium outcome of a dynamic labor market. Undereducated workers are those whose abilities and training permit them to move into a job with higher qualifications, whereas overeducated workers are highly qualified workers who select into lower-skill, entry-level jobs that provide the training (or signal) necessary for promotion. The empirical model shows that these pairing types cannot be directly identified in a cross section since all workers are exactly educated during a portion of their career. However, pairing types may be imputed by comparing predicted and observed qualifications of the worker and predicted and observed requirements of the firm. Using a rich cross section and a panel of British working-age males to identify the pairing types, we confirm the predicted career development patterns with regard to on-the-job training, promotion, and wages.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 73 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 901-930

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:73:4:y:2007:p:901-930
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