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Job-Worker Mismatch and Cognitive Decline

  • de Grip, Andries


    (ROA, Maastricht University)

  • Bosma, Hans

    (Maastricht University)

  • Willems, Dick

    (Maastricht University)

  • van Boxtel, Martin

    (Maastricht University)

We have used longitudinal test data on various aspects of people’s cognitive abilities to analyze whether overeducated workers are more vulnerable to a decline in their cognitive abilities, and undereducated workers are less vulnerable. We found that a job-worker mismatch induces a cognitive decline with respect to immediate and delayed recall abilities, cognitive flexibility and verbal fluency. Our findings indicate that, to some extent, it is the adjustment of the ability level of the overeducated and undereducated workers that adjusts initial job-worker mismatch. This adds to the relevance of preventing overeducation, and shows that being employed in a challenging job contributes to workers’ cognitive resilience.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2956.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Oxford Economic Papers, 2008, 60 (2), 237-253
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2956
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  1. 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.
  2. Alfonso Alba-Ramírez, 1993. "Mismatch in the Spanish Labor Market: Overeducation?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(2), pages 259-278.
  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. 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.
  5. F Green & Steven McIntosh & Anna Vignoles, 1999. "Overeducation and Skills - Clarifying the Concepts," CEP Discussion Papers dp0435, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. ""Overeducation" in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 101-22, April.
  7. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Groot, Wim & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, 2000. "Overeducation in the labor market: a meta-analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 149-158, April.
  9. Russell W. Rumberger, 1987. "The Impact of Surplus Schooling on Productivity and Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(1), pages 24-50.
  10. Hartog, Joop, 2000. "Over-education and earnings: where are we, where should we go?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 131-147, April.
  11. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
  12. Borghans,L. & Grip,A.,de, 1999. "Skills and low pay: upgrading or overeducation?," ROA Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
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