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The Problem of Overskilling in Australia and Britain

Author

Listed:
  • 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

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mavromaras, Kostas G. & McGuinness, Seamus & O'Leary, Nigel C. & Sloane, Peter J. & Fok, Yin King, 2007. "The Problem of Overskilling in Australia and Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 3136, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3136
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Francis Green & Steven McIntosh & Anna Vignoles, 2002. "The Utilization of Education and Skills: Evidence from Britain," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(6), pages 792-811, December.
    2. Andries de Grip & Hans Bosma & Dick Willems & Martin van Boxtel, 2008. "Job-worker mismatch and cognitive decline," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 237-253, April.
    3. Geoff Mason, 1996. "Graduate Utilisation In British Industry: The Initial Impact Of Mass Higher Education," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 156(1), pages 93-103, May.
    4. 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 434-452, July.
    5. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-880, June.
    6. H. Battu & C.R. Belfield & P.J. Sloane, 2000. "How Well Can We Measure Graduate Over- Education and Its Effects?," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 171(1), pages 82-93, January.
    7. 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.
    8. Chapman, Bruce & Ryan, Chris, 2005. "The access implications of income-contingent charges for higher education: lessons from Australia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 491-512, October.
    9. 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.
    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. repec:sae:niesru:v:156:y::i:1:p:93-103 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Australia; overeducation; overskilling; Britain;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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