IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/cepdps/dp0435.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Overeducation and Skills - Clarifying the Concepts

Author

Listed:
  • F Green
  • Steven McIntosh
  • Anna Vignoles

Abstract

There is now a burgeoning literature on the topic of 'overeducation' (and the complementary concept of 'undereducation'), and a growing quantity of UK empirical evidence on this issue. However, as Joop Hartog indicated in his keynote address to the Applied Econometrics Association, 'a solid relation [of the overeducation/ undereducation literature] with a formal theory of the labour market is lacking' (Hartog (1997)). Furthermore, the term 'overeducation', in particular, is often used interchangeably with similar but distinct concepts such as 'qualification inflation'. This paper attempts to define and measure 'undereducation' and 'overeducation' more precisely, to quantify the extent of genuine skill and educational mismatch and to link these phenomena into the existing literature on skill-biased change and wage inequality. We provide new empirical evidence on this issue, using data from the International Adult Literacy survey, the recent UK Skills Survey, and the National Child Development Study. Specifically, we find convincing evidence of skill under-utilisation in the British labour market. For example, 20% of IALS respondents have reading and comprehension skills that appear to be under-utilised in their jobs. We also show that 'genuine' overeducation is a significant phenomenon in Britain. For instance, a new survey of graduates by the University of Newcastle suggests that just over 20% of recent graduates are genuinely 'overeducated' for their jobs. We discuss the policy and welfare implications of our findings.

Suggested Citation

  • F Green & Steven McIntosh & Anna Vignoles, 1999. "Overeducation and Skills - Clarifying the Concepts," CEP Discussion Papers dp0435, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0435
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. anonymous, 1982. "Communication," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(11), pages 1350-1351, November.
    2. Donald C. Hambrick & Richard A. D'Aveni, 1992. "Top Team Deterioration as Part of the Downward Spiral of Large Corporate Bankruptcies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(10), pages 1445-1466, October.
    3. anonymous, 1982. "Communication," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(3), pages 337-337, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0435. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.