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Causes of Overeducation in the Australian Labour Market

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  • Ingrid Linsley

Abstract

Overeducation is a form of labour underutilisation which occurs when the formal education level of a worker exceeds that which is required for the job. In Australia close to 30 per cent of workers are overeducated and are underutilising their skills. Using data from the Negotiating the Life Course survey, this study determines the causes of overeducation in Australia. Four of the key theories that have been used to explain overeducation are tested: human capital, job competition, assignment and the career mobility theories. Tests show that the job competition model best explains the existence of overeducation in the Australian labour market.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingrid Linsley, 2005. "Causes of Overeducation in the Australian Labour Market," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 940, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:940
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    File URL: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/wpapers-05/940.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Croce & Emanuela Ghignoni, 2011. "Overeducation and spatial flexibility in Italian local labour markets," Working Papers 145, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
    2. Seamus McGuinness & Mark Wooden, 2007. "Overskilling, Job Insecurity and Career Mobility: Evidence from Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2007n09, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    3. Yeo, Jian Z. & Maani, Sholeh A., 2015. "Educational Mismatches and Earnings in the New Zealand Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 9475, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Carroll, David & Tani, Massimiliano, 2013. "Over-education of recent higher education graduates: New Australian panel evidence," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 207-218.
    5. Kostas Mavromaras & Seamus Mcguinness & Yin King Fok, 2009. "Assessing the Incidence and Wage Effects of Overskilling in the Australian Labour Market," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 85(268), pages 60-72, March.
    6. Kitae Sohn, 2010. "The Role of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills in Overeducation," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 124-145, June.
    7. Maria Ferreira & Annemarie Künn-Nelen & Andries De Grip, 2017. "Work-Related Learning and Skill Development in Europe: Does Initial Skill Mismatch Matter?," Research in Labor Economics,in: Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets, volume 45, pages 345-407 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    8. Mañé Vernet, Ferran & Miravet, Daniel, 2010. "Sobreeducación y Sobrecualificación en los Universitarios Catalanes. Una perspectiva de género," Working Papers 2072/179592, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    9. Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "Does immigration policy affect the education--occupation mismatch? Evidence from Australia," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 38(2), pages 111-141.
    10. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overeducation; labour market; human capital theory; career mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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