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What determines measured overeducation?

  • D. VERHAEST

    ()

  • E. OMEY

    ()

We analyse the determinants of overeducation among school leavers within a search theoretical framework. Overeducation is measured on the basis of job analysis (JA), the required level to get the job (RL) and realised matches (RM). It is shown that the choice of the measure is crucial for the outcome of the analysis. Job levels measured by RL and RM are clearly biased. Hence, only a few results are robust: higher qualified individuals occupy higher complexity jobs and overeducation is less prevalent among school leavers with better study results and in small organizations. Conversely, JA generally delivers results that are consistent with theoretical considerations. Based on JA, overeducation is also lower among men, whites, school leavers with higher educated parents, search intensive individuals and school leavers from higher quality institutions. Furthermore, overeducated workers are more often hired in occupations without structural bottleneck vacancies and in the financial and professional services sector. Additionally, irrespective of the used measure, heterogeneous requirements within complexity levels explain a significant but small part of the extent of overeducation.

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Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 04/216.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:04/216
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  17. D. Verhaest & E. Omey, 2004. "The impact of overeducation and its measurement," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/215, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  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.
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