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Overskilling Dynamics and Education Pathways

  • Kostas Mavromaras

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne and IZA, Bonn)

  • Seamus McGuinness

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

  • Yin King Fok

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

This paper uses panel data and econometric methods to estimate the incidence and the dynamic properties of overskilling among employed individuals. The paper begins by asking whether there is extensive overskilling in the labour market, and whether overskilling differs by education pathway. The answer to both questions is yes. The paper continues by asking whether overskilling is a self-perpetuating labour market state (state dependence), and whether state dependence differs by education pathway. The paper uses a dynamic random effects probit which includes Mundlak corrections and it models the initial conditions following Heckman's method. It finds that there is extensive overskilling state dependence in the workplace, and to the degree that overskilling can be interpreted as skills underutilisation and worker-job mismatch, this is an important finding. Overskilled workers with a higher degree show the highest state dependence, while workers with vocational education show none. Workers with no post-school qualifications are somewhere between these two groups. The finding that higher degree graduates suffer the greatest overskilling state dependence, combined with the well-established finding that they also suffer the highest overskilling wage penalty, offers an additional useful perspective to compare the attributes of vocational and degree qualifications.

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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2009n22.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2009n22
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. Séamus McGuinness, 2006. "Overeducation in the Labour Market," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 387-418, 07.
  2. Seamus McGuinness, 2003. "University quality and labour market outcomes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(18), pages 1943-1955.
  3. Allen, Jim & van der Velden, Rolf, 2001. "Educational Mismatches versus Skill Mismatches: Effects on Wages, Job Satisfaction, and On-the-Job Search," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 434-52, July.
  4. Wiji Arulampalam & Mark B. Stewart, 2009. "Simplified Implementation of the Heckman Estimator of the Dynamic Probit Model and a Comparison with Alternative Estimators," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(5), pages 659-681, October.
  5. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  6. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2002. "Simple solutions to the initial conditions problem in dynamic, nonlinear panel data models with unobserved heterogeneity," CeMMAP working papers CWP18/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Sicherman, Nachum & Galor, Oded, 1990. "A Theory of Career Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 169-92, February.
  8. 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.
  9. Francis Green & Yu Zhu, 2008. "Overqualification, Job Dissatisfaction, and Increasing Dispersion in the Returns to Graduate Education," Studies in Economics 0803, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  10. Seán Lyons & Karen Mayor & Richard S.J. Tol, 2008. "Environmental Accounts for the Republic of Ireland: 1990-2005," Papers WP223, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  11. 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.
  12. Kostas Mavromaras & Seamus Mcguinness & Yin King Fok, 2009. "Assessing the Incidence and Wage Effects of Overskilling in the Australian Labour Market," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 85(268), pages 60-72, 03.
  13. Francis Green & Steven McIntosh, 2007. "Is there a genuine under-utilization of skills amongst the over-qualified?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 427-439.
  14. Heckman, James J, 1991. "Identifying the Hand of the Past: Distinguishing State Dependence from Heterogeneity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 75-79, May.
  15. James J. Heckman, 1981. "Heterogeneity and State Dependence," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 91-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Kostas Mavromaras & Seamus McGuinness & Nigel O’Leary & Peter Sloane & Yin King Fok, 2007. "The Problem of Overskilling in Australia and Britain," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2007n33, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  17. McGuinness, Seamus & Wooden, Mark, 2007. "Overskilling, Job Insecurity and Career Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 2938, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. P. J. Sloane & H. Battu & P. T. Seaman, 1999. "Overeducation, undereducation and the British labour market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(11), pages 1437-1453.
  19. McGuinness, Seamus & Bennett, Jessica, 2007. "Overeducation in the graduate labour market: A quantile regression approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 521-531, October.
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