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How Useful Is the Concept of Skills Mismatch?

Listed author(s):
  • McGuinness, Seamus

    ()

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

  • Pouliakas, Konstantinos

    ()

    (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop))

  • Redmond, Paul

    ()

    (ESRI, Dublin)

The term skill mismatch is very broad and can relate to many forms of labour market friction, including vertical mismatch, skill gaps, skill shortages, field of study (horizontal) mismatch and skill obsolescence. In this paper we provide a clear overview of each concept and discuss the measurement and inter-relatedness of different forms of mismatch. We present a comprehensive analysis of the current position of the literature on skills mismatch and highlight areas which are relatively underdeveloped and may warrant further research. Using data from the European Skills and Jobs Survey, we assess the incidence of various combinations of skills mismatch across the EU. Finally, we review the European Commission's country specific recommendations and find that skills mismatch, when referring to underutilised human capital in the form of overeducation and skills underutilisation, receives little policy attention. In cases where skills mismatch forms part of policy recommendations, the policy advice is either vague or addresses the areas of mismatch for which there is the least available evidence.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10786.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: May 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10786
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  1. Jim Allen & Andries de Grip, 2012. "Does skill obsolescence increase the risk of employment loss?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(25), pages 3237-3245, September.
  2. Arnaud Chevalier & Joanne Lindley, 2009. "Overeducation and the skills of UK graduates," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 172(2), pages 307-337.
  3. Guido Bulmahn & Matthias Kräkel, 2002. "Overeducated Workers as an Insurance Device," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 16(2), pages 383-402, 06.
  4. Marcello M. Estevão & Evridiki Tsounta, 2011. "Has the Great Recession Raised U.S. Structural Unemployment?," IMF Working Papers 11/105, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Emilio Congregado & Jesús Iglesias & José María Millán & Concepción Román, 2016. "Incidence, effects, dynamics and routes out of overqualification in Europe: a comprehensive analysis distinguishing by employment status," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(5), pages 411-445, January.
  6. Catherine Béduwé & Jean-François Giret, 2011. "Mismatch of vocational graduates : what penalty on French labour market," Post-Print halshs-00738007, HAL.
  7. Jessica Bennett & Seamus McGuinness, 2009. "Assessing the impact of skill shortages on the productivity performance of high-tech firms in Northern Ireland," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 727-737.
  8. Belfield, Clive, 2010. "Over-education: What influence does the workplace have?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 236-245, April.
  9. Andrea Diem, 2015. "Overeducation among Graduates from Universities of Applied Sciences: Determinants and Consequences," Journal of Economic and Financial Studies (JEFS), LAR Center Press, vol. 3(2), pages 63-77, April.
  10. Giorgio Di Pietro & Peter Urwin, 2006. "Education and skills mismatch in the Italian graduate labour market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 79-93.
  11. Levels M. & Velden R.K.W. van der & Levels M. & Allen J.P., 2013. "Skill mismatch and skill use in developed countries: Evidence from the PIAAC study," ROA Research Memorandum 017, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  12. Domadenik, Polona & Farčnik, Daša & Pastore, Francesco, 2013. "Horizontal Mismatch in the Labour Market of Graduates: The Role of Signalling," IZA Discussion Papers 7527, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Velden R.K.W. van der & Allen J.P. & Levels M., 2013. "Skill mismatch and use in developed countries: Evidence from the PIAAC study," Research Memorandum 061, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
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