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Was it worth it? An empirical analysis of over-education among Ph.D. recipients in Italy

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  • Giuseppe Lucio Gaeta

    (University of Naples L’Orientale, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities)

Abstract

This paper aims to provide an empirical examination of factors associated with overeducation among Ph.D. graduates in Italy. Our investigation is based on recently released data collected by the Italian National Institute of Statistics by means of interviews with a large sample of Ph.D. recipients, carried out a few years after they obtained their Ph.D. degree. We measured the mismatch between their current job and previous Ph.D. studies using two direct subjective evaluations of over-education, which distinguish between the usefulness of the Ph.D. title to get the current job position and to perform the current work activities. Even if the incidence of over-education varies according to the measurement applied, we found that it is highly widespread among Ph.D. recipients. Our econometric analyses are aimed at identifying factors associated with over-education and are based on the standard probit model and the bivariate probit model with sample selection which allows to control for self selection into employment. Our results show that over-education is significantly correlated with: i) a number of Ph-D. related variables, such as the scientific field of study, having attended courses or visiting periods abroad; ii) some job-related characteristics, such as working in the academia or being mainly involved in research related activities; iii) the channel of access to the job; iv) residential location. This paper contributes to the literature focusing on job-education mismatch by providing, to the best of our knowledge, the first empirical analysis of over-education among Ph.D. recipients in Italy; moreover, it provides some useful insights to evaluate the professional doctoral graduates in Italy.

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  • Giuseppe Lucio Gaeta, 2013. "Was it worth it? An empirical analysis of over-education among Ph.D. recipients in Italy," Working Papers 1302, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
  • Handle: RePEc:cme:wpaper:1302
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barbara Ermini & Luca Papi & Francesca Scaturro, 2017. "Over education and the great recession. The case of italian PH.D graduates," Working Papers 420, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    2. Giuseppe Lucio Gaeta & Giuseppe Lubrano Lavadera & Francesco Pastore, 2017. "Much Ado about Nothing? The Wage Penalty of Holding a PhD Degree but Not a PhD Job Position," Research in Labor Economics, in: Solomon W. Polachek & Konstantinos Pouliakas & Giovanni Russo & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets, volume 45, pages 243-277, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    3. Barbara Ermini & Luca Papi & Francesca Scaturro, 2017. "An Analysis of the Determinants of Over-Education Among Italian Ph.D Graduates," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 3(2), pages 167-207, July.
    4. Alfano, Vincenzo & Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio & Pinto, Mauro & Rotondo, Francesca & Vecchione, Gaetano, 2021. "La dinamica dell’offerta di formazione dottorale dopo la riforma Gelmini [Ph.D. courses in Italy after the Gelmini Reform]," MPRA Paper 108144, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio & Lubrano Lavadera, Giuseppe & Pastore, Francesco, 2016. "Much Ado About Nothing? The Wage Effect of Holding a Ph.D. Degree But Not a Ph.D. Job Position," IZA Discussion Papers 10051, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. S. Fasola & O. Giambalvo & C. Romano, 2016. "Flexible latent trait aggregation to analyze employability after the Ph.D. in Italy," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 180-194, January.
    7. Dsouza, Alwin & Mishra, Ashok. K., 2016. "Adoption and Abandonment of Conservation Technologies in Developing Economies: The Case of South Asia," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235243, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    8. Corina CARA & Tudor TOCILA & Adriana ZAIT, 2015. "Exploring Phd Students’ Concerns Regarding Doctoral Programs In Economics And Business Administration," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 15, pages 33-43, June.
    9. Barbara Ermini & Luca Papi & Francesca Scaturro, 2016. "Over-education among italian Ph.D. graduates. Does the crisis make a difference?," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 126, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    10. D’Souza, Alwin & Mishra, Ashok K., 2018. "Adoption and Abandonment of Partial Conservation Technologies in Developing Economies: The Case of South Asia," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 212-223.
    11. Alfano, Vincenzo & D'Uva, Marcella & De Simone, Elina & Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio, 2019. "Should I stay or should I go? Migration and job-skills mismatch among Italian doctoral recipients," GLO Discussion Paper Series 340, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    12. Joaquin Turmo-Garuz & M.-Teresa Bartual-Figueras & Francisco-Javier Sierra-Martinez, 2019. "Factors Associated with Overeducation Among Recent Graduates During Labour Market Integration: The Case of Catalonia (Spain)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 144(3), pages 1273-1301, August.
    13. Sucharita Ghosh & Emanuele Grassi, 2020. "Overeducation and overskilling in the early careers of PhD graduates: Does international migration reduce labour market mismatch?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(4), pages 915-944, August.
    14. Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio & Lubrano Lavadera, Giuseppe & Pastore, Francesco, 2018. "Overeducation wage penalty among Ph.D. holders. An unconditional quantile regression analysis on Italian data," GLO Discussion Paper Series 180, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    Keywords

    over-education; Ph.D. recipients; self-selection;
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