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Delayed Graduation and Overeducation: A Test of the Human Capital Model versus the Screening Hypothesis

  • Aina, Carmen


    (University of Piemonte Orientale)

  • Pastore, Francesco


    (University of Naples II)

The academic circles are devoting a growing interest to delayed graduation and overeducation, but none has analyzed the joint consequences of these two phenomena. Thus, this paper studies the link between graduation not within the minimum period and overeducation, and the effects of these variables on wages, using the ISFOL-Plus data. According to the human capital model, delayed graduation increases a student' human capital and should, therefore, reduce her probability of being overeducated, while increasing her wage. According to the screening hypothesis, instead, delayed graduation signals low skills and therefore increases the chances of being overeducated, while bearing a wage penalty. The evidence lines towards predictions based on the screening hypothesis. First, delayed graduation increases the chances of overeducation. In addition, the direct wage penalty associated to delayed graduation equals 7% of the median wage. However, being a determinant of overeducation, it also indirectly contributes to the penalty of 19.8% of the median wage associated to overeducation. These effects are sizeable, considering the very low returns to higher education in Italy reported in previous studies.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6413.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6413
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  1. Sascha O. Becker, 2005. "Introducing Time-to-Educate in a Job Search Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 1584, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. John Bound & Michael F. Lovenheim & Sarah Turner, 2012. "Increasing Time to Baccalaureate Degree in the United States," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 375-424, September.
  3. Carmen Aina, 2010. "The Determinants of Educational Attainment, University Drop-out and Time-to-Degree. A focus on Italy," Working Papers 132, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
  4. Carmen Aina, 2011. "The Determinants of Success and Failure of Italian University Students. Evidence from administrative data," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 119(2), pages 85-108.
  5. Brunello, Giorgio & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2002. "Why Do Students Expect to Stay Longer in College? Evidence from Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 658, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Floro Ernesto Caroleo & Francesco Pastore, 2012. "Talking about the Pigou paradox: Socio-educational background and educational outcomes of AlmaLaurea," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(1), pages 27-50, June.
  7. Lorenzo Cappellari, 2004. "The Effects Of High School Choices On Academic Performance And Early Labour Market Outcomes," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 92, Royal Economic Society.
  8. Carmen Aina & Eliana Baici & Giorgia Casalone, 2011. "Time to degree: students' abilities, university characteristics or something else? Evidence from Italy," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 311-325.
  9. Checchi, Daniele & Flabbi, Luca, 2007. "Intergenerational Mobility and Schooling Decisions in Germany and Italy: The Impact of Secondary School Tracks," IZA Discussion Papers 2876, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Brodaty, Thomas & Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Prieto, Ana, 2008. "Does Speed Signal Ability? The Impact of Grade Repetitions on Employment and Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 6832, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Giorgia Casalone & Carmen Aina, 2011. "Does time-to-degree matter? The effect of delayed graduation on employment and wages," Working Papers 38, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
  12. Carmen Aina & Lorenzo Cappellari & Marco Francesconi, 2010. "Student Performance may not Improve when Universities are Choosier," CESifo Working Paper Series 3264, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:28:y:2003:i:25:p:a25 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Häkkinen, Iida & Uusitalo, Roope, 2003. "The Effect of a Student Aid Reform on Graduation: A Duration Analysis," Working Paper Series 2003:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  15. Francesco Pastore & Lia Ambrosio, 2003. "XVIII AIEL Conference," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 28(25), pages A25.
  16. Monks, James, 1997. "The impact of college timing on earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 419-423, October.
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