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Occupational choice of young graduates: Do job tasks matter?


  • ROCHER, Stijn


This paper examines the extent to which graduates of higher education direct their own occupational choices. I begin by developing an empirical indicator to identify the relation between occupations based on their task content. To this end, I combine individual education and employment data of UK graduates with ratings on 42 task content areas from the UK Skill Survey. Based on these data, I show that UK graduates who majored in similar fields choose occupations with similar task packages. This is followed by a discussion of the wage implications of entering an atypical occupation relative to the modal graduate from the same field. As such, the indicator can be interpreted within a mismatch context. I find that task mismatch increases the probability of over-qualification, which is subsequently associated with lower wages.

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  • ROCHER, Stijn, 2010. "Occupational choice of young graduates: Do job tasks matter?," Working Papers 2010027, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2010027

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    Occupational choice; Task content; Mismatch;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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