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Heaven knows I’m miserable now: overeducation and reduced life satisfaction

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  • Piper, Alan T.

Abstract

This study is an investigation into relative overeducation and life satisfaction using British longitudinal data. The focus is on young people rather than the whole of the life cycle, an arguably more homogenous group. Such a focus means that the overeducation variable does not simply capture the increased participation in Higher Education of the young. The hypothesis is that there is a negative relationship between being overeducated and life satisfaction. Overeducation is measured using the realised matches approach, a statistical measurement comparing an individual’s years of schooling with the average for one of two employment based reference groups. Using dynamic panel analysis, to account for the presence of serial correlation, such an association is found: the relatively overeducated seem to be relatively less happy.

Suggested Citation

  • Piper, Alan T., 2012. "Heaven knows I’m miserable now: overeducation and reduced life satisfaction," MPRA Paper 43259, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:43259
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2008. "The College Wage Premium and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 695-709, December.
    2. Christopher Fleming & Parvinder Kler, 2008. "I'm too clever for this job: a bivariate probit analysis on overeducation and job satisfaction in Australia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(9), pages 1123-1138.
    3. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
    4. David Roodman, 2009. "How to do xtabond2: An introduction to difference and system GMM in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(1), pages 86-136, March.
    5. Maite Blázquez & Santiago Budría, 2012. "Overeducation dynamics and personality," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 260-283, March.
    6. Groot, Wim, 1993. "Overeducation and the returns to enterprise-related schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 299-309, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Christopher Boyce & Alex Wood & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2013. "Is Personality Fixed? Personality Changes as Much as “Variable” Economic Factors and More Strongly Predicts Changes to Life Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 287-305, March.
    9. 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.
    10. Rubb, S., 2003. "Overeducation in the labor market: a comment and re-analysis of a meta-analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 621-629, December.
    11. H. Battu & C. R. Belfield & P. J. Sloane, 1999. "Overeducation Among Graduates: a cohort view," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 21-38.
    12. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
    13. Piper, Alan T., 2012. "A Happiness Test of Human Capital Theory," MPRA Paper 43496, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. 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.
    15. Dieter Verhaest & Eddy Omey, 2006. "The Impact of Overeducation and its Measurement," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 77(3), pages 419-448, July.
    16. Piper, Alan T., 2012. "Dynamic Analysis and the Economics of Happiness: Rationale, Results and Rules," MPRA Paper 43248, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2012.
    17. Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. ""Overeducation" in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 101-122, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. P. Kler & G. Leeves & S. Shankar, 2015. "Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself: Perceptions of Job Security in Australia After the Global Financial Crisis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 753-769, September.
    2. Alan Piper, 2015. "Europe’s Capital Cities and the Happiness Penalty: An Investigation Using the European Social Survey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 103-126, August.
    3. Piper, Alan T., 2018. "Adult life satisfaction: largely (though not wholly) contemporaneous? A System General Method of Moments dynamic panel analysis," MPRA Paper 85601, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Piper, Alan T., 2014. "Sliding down the U-shape? An investigation of the age-well-being relationship, with a focus on young adults," MPRA Paper 55819, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Piper, Alan, 2013. "A Note on Modelling Dynamics in Happiness Estimations," MPRA Paper 49364, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Piper, Alan T., 2014. "The Benefits, Challenges and Insights of a Dynamic Panel assessment of Life Satisfaction," MPRA Paper 59556, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Piper, Alan T., 2012. "A Happiness Test of Human Capital Theory," MPRA Paper 43496, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Alan Piper, 2018. "Adult life satisfaction largely (though not wholly) contemporaneous," Discussion Papers 028, Europa-Universität Flensburg, International Institute of Management.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life Satisfaction; Happiness; Overeducation; Dynamic Panel Analysis; BHPS;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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