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I'm too clever for this job: a bivariate probit analysis on overeducation and job satisfaction in Australia


  • Christopher Fleming
  • Parvinder Kler


Using data from the first wave of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia data set, this article establishes an empirical relationship between overeducation and workplace satisfaction for Australian adult males in the labour force. In a departure from much of the existing literature, both univariate and bivariate probit models are used to account for potential unobserved heterogeneity. We find that estimates in the univariate probit models are positively biased for three of the six measures of workplace satisfaction studied. This suggests that consideration should be given to the use of bivariate models when studying the determinants of workplace satisfaction and overeducation. Results show, although levels of satisfaction remain high, that across all measures of workplace satisfaction overeducated workers are less satisfied compared to their nonovereducated counterparts. This intimates that satisfaction levels should be viewed from a relative, rather than an absolute perspective. 'Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work' Aristotle 384BC-322BC

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Fleming & Parvinder Kler, 2008. "I'm too clever for this job: a bivariate probit analysis on overeducation and job satisfaction in Australia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(9), pages 1123-1138.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:40:y:2008:i:9:p:1123-1138
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840600771254

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. P. Kler & G. Leeves & S. Shankar, 2015. "Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself: Perceptions of Job Security in Australia After the Global Financial Crisis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 753-769, September.
    2. Jones, Melanie K & Mavromaras, Kostas & Sloane, Peter J & Wei, Zhang (NILS), 2011. "NILS Working paper no 176. Disability and job mismatches in the Australian labour market," NILS Working Papers 26074, National Institute of Labour Studies.
    3. Alan Piper, 2015. "Heaven knows I'm miserable now: overeducation and reduced life satisfaction," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(6), pages 677-692, December.
    4. McGuinness, Seamus & Sloane, Peter J., 2011. "Labour market mismatch among UK graduates: An analysis using REFLEX data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 130-145, February.
    5. Zainizam Zakariya & Khoo Yin Yin, 2016. "Over- and Underskilling in the Malaysian Labour Market: Evidence from the 2003–2012 Labour Force Survey (LFS)," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 6(11), pages 203-223, November.
    6. Philipp Grunau, 2016. "The impact of overeducated and undereducated workers on establishment-level productivity: First evidence for Germany," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 372-392, May.
    7. Rochelle Beukes & Tina Fransman & Simba Murozvi & Derek Yu, 2016. "Underemployment in South Africa," Working Papers 06/2016, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    8. Vera Rocha & Anabela Carneiro & Celeste Amorim Varum, 2013. "Entrepreneurship Dynamics: Entry Routes, Business-Owner's Persistence and Exit Modes," CEF.UP Working Papers 1310, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    9. Castellano, Rosalia & Punzo, Gennaro & Rocca, Antonella, 2013. "Women’s job search propensity and selection effect in European labour markets," MPRA Paper 50869, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Iñaki Iriondo Múgica & María Dolores Grandal Martín & Elena Gallego Abaroa & Covadonga de la Iglesia Villasol & Esperanza Gracia Expósito, 2009. "Inserción laboral y calidad del empleo de los licenciados de la Universidad Complutense," Documentos de trabajo de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales 09-05, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales.
    11. Melanie K. Jones & Peter J. Sloane, 2010. "Disability and Skill Mismatch," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(s1), pages 101-114, September.
    12. Michael Quinn & Stephen Rubb, 2011. "Spouse Overeducation and Family Migration: Evidence from the US," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 36-45, March.
    13. Mavromaras, Kostas G. & Sloane, Peter J. & Wei, Zhang, 2011. "Disability and Job Mismatches in the Australian Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 6152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Stephan Humpert, 2013. "Gender Differences in Life Satisfaction and Social Participation," International Journal of Business and Economic Sciences Applied Research (IJBESAR), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology (EMATTECH), Kavala, Greece, vol. 6(3), pages 123-142, December.
    15. Nuria Sánchez-Sánchez & Adolfo Fernández, 2014. "Desajuste educacional y de competencias: efectos diferenciales sobre la satisfacción laboral. Un estudio aplicado al mercado de trabajo español," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 41(2 Year 20), pages 261-281, December.
    16. Verbruggen, M. & van Emmerik, H. & van Gils, A.E.J. & Meng, C.M. & de Grip, A., 2015. "Does early-career underemployment impact future career success? A path dependency perspective," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    17. Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "Does immigration policy affect the education--occupation mismatch? Evidence from Australia," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 38(2), pages 111-141.
    18. Zhu Rong & Chen Linfeng, 2016. "Overeducation, Overskilling and Mental Well-being," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 1-33, October.

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