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Signalling and Productivity Effects of Overeducation: Is It Really a Waste of Resources?

  • Abbi Kedir

    ()

  • Andri Kyrizi

    ()

  • Francisco Martinez-Mora

    ()

Overeducation raises concerns that governments may be overinvesting in education. To inform the debate, this paper studies the impact of overeducation on productivity. We advance the literature by considering that returns to overeducation may be due both to productivity and signalling effects. To disentangle both effects, we apply Wolpin’s (1977) methodology and compare the rates of return of screened (employed) and unscreened (self-employed) workers. To overcome well-known endogeneity problems due to unobserved heterogeneity, we estimate a panel with individual and employment-status fixed effects. Our results show that signalling effects are relevant and that overeducation does not carry a productivity penalty.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Leicester in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 12/19.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:12/19
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  7. Brown, Sarah & Sessions, John G., 1999. "Education and employment status: a test of the strong screening hypothesis in Italy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 397-404, October.
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  11. Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2011. "Overeducation and Mismatch in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 5523, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  14. Holzner, Christian & Launov, Andrey, 2010. "Search equilibrium and social and private returns to education," Munich Reprints in Economics 19436, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. Richard R. Verdugo & Naomi Turner Verdugo, 1989. "The Impact of Surplus Schooling on Earnings: Some Additional Findings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 629-643.
  16. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
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  18. Kiker, B. F. & Santos, Maria C. & de Oliveira, M. Mendes, 1997. "Overeducation and undereducation: Evidence for Portugal," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 111-125, April.
  19. 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.
  20. Psacharopoulos, George, 1979. "On the weak versus the strong version of the screening hypothesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 181-185.
  21. Joanne Lindley & Steven McIntosh, 2008. "A Panel Data Analysis of the Incidence and Impact of Over-education," Working Papers 2008009, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2008.
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  23. Tsai, Yuping, 2010. "Returns to overeducation: A longitudinal analysis of the U.S. labor market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 606-617, August.
  24. Arrow, Kenneth J., 1973. "Higher education as a filter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 193-216, July.
  25. Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2000. "The Returns to Education: A Review of Evidence, Issues and Deficiencies in the Literature," CEE Discussion Papers 0005, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  26. 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.
  27. Cohn, Elchanan & Khan, Shahina P., 1995. "The wage effects of overschooling revisited," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 67-76, March.
  28. Daly, Mary C. & Buchel, Felix & Duncan, Greg J., 2000. "Premiums and penalties for surplus and deficit education: Evidence from the United States and Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 169-178, April.
  29. Holzner, Christian & Launov, Andrey, 2010. "Search equilibrium and social and private returns to education," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 39-59, January.
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