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Overeducation in the Swiss Labour Market: Does Anything Go Wrong?


  • Aniela Wirz
  • Erdal Atukeren


We examine the determinants of overeducation in Switzerland - an economy generally characterised by excess qualified labor demand. We define those who are overeducated more precisely, and include in our sample only those who work in occupations relating to their educational background. Failing to make this adjustment might have blurred the results of earlier studies. Our analyses show that overeducation in Switzerland cannot be explained by rigidities limiting the adjustments of supply and demand in the labor market. Hence, the Swiss labor market must in general be considered as efficient. Unobserved heterogeneity should indeed account for the phenomenon of overeducation.

Suggested Citation

  • Aniela Wirz & Erdal Atukeren, 2004. "Overeducation in the Swiss Labour Market: Does Anything Go Wrong?," KOF Working papers 04-85, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:04-85

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Duncan, Greg J. & Hoffman, Saul D., 1981. "The incidence and wage effects of overeducation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 75-86, February.
    3. Bauer, Thomas K., 2002. "Educational mismatch and wages: a panel analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 221-229, June.
    4. Frank, Robert H, 1978. "Why Women Earn Less: The Theory and Estimation of Differential Overqualification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(3), pages 360-373, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. ""Overeducation" in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 101-122, April.
    7. Dolton, Peter & Silles, Mary, 2001. "Over education in the graduate labour market: some evidence from alumni data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19546, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Arnaud Chevalier, 2003. "Measuring Over-education," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(279), pages 509-531, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aniela Wirz, 2004. "To my wife, with love! Does within-household specialisation explain husband's better job-education-match?," KOF Working papers 04-93, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.


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