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Objective overeducation and worker well-being: a shadow price approach



  • E. OMEY

This paper examines, for a sample of Flemish school leavers, the relation between objective over-education and job satisfaction by applying a shadow price approach. We differentiate between direct effects of overeducation and indirect effects via other job characteristics that are associated with overeducation. Additional fixed-effects estimates are executed to account for individual heterogeneity. The utility consequences of overeducation are found to be large and cannot be compensated by a reasonable wage increase at the start of the first employment. These outcomes suggest that, at labour market entry, overeducation is largely involuntary, and is likely to induce negative productivity costs. The negative consequences of overeducation are also found to dimi-nish with years of work experience.

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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 08/514.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:08/514
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  1. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  2. 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.
  3. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Sicherman, Nachum & Galor, Oded, 1990. "A Theory of Career Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 169-92, February.
  6. Buchel, Felix, 2002. "The effects of overeducation on productivity in Germany -- the firms' viewpoint," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 263-275, June.
  7. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard M.S. van Praag, 2002. "The subjective costs of health losses due to chronic diseases. An alternative model for monetary appraisal," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(8), pages 709-722.
  8. van Praag, B. M. S. & Frijters, P. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., 2003. "The anatomy of subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 29-49, May.
  9. Cohn, Elchanan & Ng, Ying Chu, 2000. "Incidence and wage effects of overschooling and underschooling in Hong Kong," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 159-168, April.
  10. Tsang, Mun C. & Levin, Henry M., 1985. "The economics of overeducation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 93-104, April.
  11. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1998. "Comparison-concave utility and following behaviour in social and economic settings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-155, October.
  12. Elsy Verhofstadt & Hans De Witte & Eddy Omey, 2007. "Higher educated workers: better jobs but less satisfied?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 135 - 151, May.
  13. D. Verhaest & E. Omey, 2004. "What determines measured overeducation?," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/216, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  14. Tsang, Mun Chiu, 1987. "The impact of underutilization of education on productivity: A case study of the U.S. Bell companies," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 239-254, June.
  15. Allen, Jim & van der Velden, Rolf, 2001. "Educational Mismatches versus Skill Mismatches: Effects on Wages, Job Satisfaction, and On-the-Job Search," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 434-52, July.
  16. Khan, Linda J. & Morrow, Paula C., 1991. "Objective and subjective underemployment relationships to job satisfaction," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 211-218, May.
  17. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  18. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  19. Hersch, Joni, 1991. "Education Match and Job Match," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 140-44, February.
  20. J.-Matthias Graf Schulenburg, 2002. "Commentary," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 138-138, June.
  21. Vieira, José A. Cabral, 2005. "Skill mismatches and job satisfaction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 39-47, October.
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