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The Problem of Overskilling in Australia and Britain

  • Mavromaras, Kostas G.

    ()

    (NILS, Flinders University)

  • McGuinness, Seamus

    ()

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

  • O'Leary, Nigel C.

    ()

    (Swansea University)

  • Sloane, Peter J.

    ()

    (Swansea University)

  • Fok, Yin King

    ()

    (University of Melbourne)

This paper examines the parallel trends in education and labour market developments in Australia and Britain. It uses unique information in the WERS and HILDA surveys on reported overskilling in the workplace. To a degree, the overskilling information overcomes the problem of unobserved ability differences and focuses on the actual job-employee mismatch more than the conventional overeducation variables can. The paper finds that the prevalence of overskilling decreases with education at least for Australia, but the wage penalty associated with overskilling increases with education. Although the general patterns of overskilling (prevalence and penalties) are fairly similar between Australia and Britain, the problem appears to be greater in Britain.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp3136.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3136.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Manchester School, 2010, 78(3), 219-238
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3136
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  1. Nigel C. O’Leary & Peter J. Sloane, 2005. "The Return to a University Education in Great Britain," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 193(1), pages 75-89, July.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Di Pietro, Giorgio & Peter Urwin, 2003. "Education and Skills Mismatch in the Italian Graduate Labour Market," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 59, Royal Economic Society.
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