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The relationship between formal education and skill acquisition in young workers’ first jobs

  • D. VERHAEST

    ()

  • E. OMEY

    ()

We analyse the relationship between formal education and on-the-job skill acquisition (SA) for a sample of Flemish school-leavers. SA is measured directly through subjective assessments. Formal education is found to reinforce labour market inequality because additional years of education enhance the probability of all types of SA. With respect to general SA, this impact is higher for generally-educated compared to vocationally-educated individuals. This is predominantly explained by between-occupation effects; jobs that require more years of formal education also require more additional SA. Within occupations, we find some limited evidence on both dominant complementary and substitution effects. Under-educated workers have lower overall SA probabilities than adequately educated workers in similar occupations; over-educated workers with a vocational degree acquire less transferable or general skills than their adequately educated colleagues. Because over-educated workers work in jobs with less additional SA requirements, they also acquire less additional skills than adequately educated workers with similar educational backgrounds.

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File URL: http://wps-feb.ugent.be/Papers/wp_12_768.pdf
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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 12/768.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:12/768
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  1. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1997. "On-the-Job Training," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ojt, December.
  2. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2004. "Training in Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 346-360, 04/05.
  3. Francis Green & Scott M. Montgomery, 1998. "The Quality of Skill Acquisition in Young Workers' First Job," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 12(3), pages 473-487, 09.
  4. Oded Galor & Nachum Sicherman, 1988. "A Theory of Career Mobility," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 51, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  5. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
  6. Verhaest, Dieter & Omey, Eddy, 2009. "Objective over-education and worker well-being: A shadow price approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 469-481, June.
  7. Heijke,Hans & Meng,Christoph & Ramaekers,Ger, 2003. "An investigation into the role of human capital competences and their pay-off," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  8. 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.
  9. Daniel P. McMillen & Paul T. Seaman & Larry D. Singell Jr, 2007. "A Mismatch Made in Heaven: A Hedonic Analysis of Overeducation and Undereducation," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 901–930, April.
  10. 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.
  11. Heijke Hans & Meng Christoph & Ris Catherine, 2003. "Fitting to the Job: the Role of Generic and Vocational Competencies in Adjustment and Performance," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  12. Dieter Verhaest & Eddy Omey, 2006. "Discriminating between alternative measures of over-education," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(18), pages 2113-2120.
  13. Booth, Alison L, 1991. "Job-Related Formal Training: Who Receives It and What Is It Worth?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(3), pages 281-94, August.
  14. Francis Green & Steven McIntosh, 2007. "Is there a genuine under-utilization of skills amongst the over-qualified?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 427-439.
  15. van Smoorenburg, M. S. M. & van der Velden, R. K. W., 2000. "The training of school-leavers: Complementarity or substitution?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 207-217, April.
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