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Job Mismatches and Labour Market Outcomes


  • Mavromaras, Kostas

    (NILS, Flinders University of South Australia)

  • McGuinness, Seamus


  • O?Leary, Nigel

    (WELMERC, Swansea University)

  • Sloane, Peter

    (IZA, Bonn)

  • Fok, Yin King

    (Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne)


Interpretation of the phenomenon of graduate overeducation remains problematical. In an attempt to resolve at least some of the issues this paper makes use of the panel element of the HILDA survey, distinguishing between four possible combinations of education/skills mismatch. For men we find a significant pay penalty only for those who are both overskilled and overeducated, while for women there is a smaller but significant pay penalty in all cases of mismatch. Overeducation does not have any negative effect on the job satisfaction of either men or women, while overskilling either on its own or jointly with overeducation does so. Finally, overeducation has no significant effect on the job mobility of either men or women, though there is a significant positive effect on both voluntary and involuntary job loss in men who are both overskilled and overeducated, with the results again differing for women. At least for a substantial number of workers it appears, therefore, that overeducation represents a matter of choice (or is possibly a consequence of low ability for that level of education), while overskilling imposes real costs on the individuals concerned.

Suggested Citation

  • Mavromaras, Kostas & McGuinness, Seamus & O?Leary, Nigel & Sloane, Peter & Fok, Yin King, 2009. "Job Mismatches and Labour Market Outcomes," Papers WP314, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp314

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frances Ruane & Xiaoheng Zhang, 2007. "Location Choices of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe after 1992," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp220, IIIS.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kostas Mavromaras & Stéphane Mahuteau & Peter Sloane & Zhang Wei, 2013. "The effect of overskilling dynamics on wages," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(3), pages 281-303, July.
    2. Marco Pecoraro, 2014. "Is There Still a Wage Penalty for Being Overeducated But Well-matched in Skills? A Panel Data Analysis of a Swiss Graduate Cohort," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 28(3), pages 309-337, September.
    3. Sandra Nieto, 2015. "Overeducation, skills and wage penalty: Evidence for Spain using PIAAC data," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 10,in: Marta Rahona López & Jennifer Graves (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 10, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 30, pages 597-616 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    4. Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Francesco Pastore, 2012. "Overeducation at a glance. Determinants and wage effects of the educational mismatch, looking at the AlmaLaurea data," Discussion Papers 18_2012, CRISEI, University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    5. 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.
    6. McGuinness Seamus & Whelan Adele & Bergin Adele, 2016. "Is There a Role for Higher Education Institutions in Improving the Quality of First Employment?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 1-15, October.
    7. Baert, Stijn & Cockx, Bart & Verhaest, Dieter, 2013. "Overeducation at the start of the career: Stepping stone or trap?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 123-140.
    8. Carroll, David & Tani, Massimiliano, 2011. "Labour Market Under-Utilisation of Recent Higher Education Graduates: New Australian Panel Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 6047, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Seamus McGuinness & Konstantinos Pouliakas, 2017. "Deconstructing Theories of Overeducation in Europe: A Wage Decomposition Approach," Research in Labor Economics,in: Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets, volume 45, pages 81-127 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    10. Bloemen, Hans, 2013. "Language Proficiency of Migrants: The Relation with Job Satisfaction and Matching," IZA Discussion Papers 7366, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Villa, Juan M., 2009. "A Survey on Labor Markets Imperfections in Mexico Using a Stochastic Frontier," MPRA Paper 21201, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Overeducation; Overskilling; Wages; Job Mobility; Job Satisfaction; Gender;

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