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The Determinants of Graduate Over-Education


  • Mary Silles
  • Peter Dolton


Several studies for the UK and other countries have shown that a significant number of university graduates are in jobs that do not require a university degree i.e., over-educated. This paper using data from one large civic university in the UK investigates the true incidence and determinants of over-education. The results indicate that previous studies have largely over-stated the extent of over-education in the graduate labour market. Various labour market constraints as well as the vocational orientation of educational qualification were shown to be among most important factors that influence graduate placement.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary Silles & Peter Dolton, 2002. "The Determinants of Graduate Over-Education," Economics Series Working Papers 127, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:127

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Pryor,Frederic L. & Schaffer,David L., 1999. "Who's Not Working and Why," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521651523, May.
    3. Dolton, Peter & Vignoles, Anna, 2000. "The incidence and effects of overeducation in the U.K. graduate labour market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 179-198, April.
    4. P. J. Sloane & H. Battu & P. T. Seaman, 1999. "Overeducation, undereducation and the British labour market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(11), pages 1437-1453.
    5. S. J. Prais, 2001. "Developments in Education and Vocational Training in Britain: Background Note on Recent Research," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 178(1), pages 73-74, October.
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    More about this item


    educational economics; wage differentials;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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