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Over education among older workers: impact on wages and early retirement decisions


  • Stephen Rubb


As baby boomers approach the later years of their careers and potentially face early retirement decisions, it is worth remembering that their average level of schooling exceeds that of all previous generations. Accordingly, this paper examines the effects of overeducation on wages and early retirement decisions. The impact of overeducation on the wages of older workers is remarkably similar to that found in younger cohorts. With regards to the retirement decision, the literature suggests a link between overeducation and job dissatisfaction and a separate link between job dissatisfaction and early retirement. However, overeducation late in one's career may not be reflective of genuine skill mismatches or job dissatisfaction if skill mismatches occur. If overeducation has any impact on the likelihood of early retirement it is small as the empirical analysis finds no such evidence

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Rubb, 2009. "Over education among older workers: impact on wages and early retirement decisions," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(16), pages 1621-1626.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:16:y:2009:i:16:p:1621-1626 DOI: 10.1080/13504850701604052

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fratianni, Michele & Kang, Heejoon, 2006. "Heterogeneous distance-elasticities in trade gravity models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 68-71, January.
    2. Arvind Panagariya, 2000. "Preferential Trade Liberalization: The Traditional Theory and New Developments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 287-331, June.
    3. de Melo, Jaime & Montenegro, Claudio & Panagariya, Arvind, 1992. "Regional integration, old and new," Policy Research Working Paper Series 985, The World Bank.
    4. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-116, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Deng, Hong & Guan, Yanjun & Wu, Chia-Huei & Erdogan, Berrin & Bauer, Talya & Yao, Xiang, 2016. "A relational model of perceived overqualification: the moderating role of interpersonal influence on social acceptance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67547, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Mario Schnalzenberger & Nicole Schneeweis & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Martina Zweimüller, 2014. "Job Quality and Employment of Older People in Europe," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 28(2), pages 141-162, June.

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