IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Educational mismatches and skills: New empirical tests of old hypotheses


  • Levels, M.

    (General Economics 2 (Macro))

  • van der Velden, R.K.W.

    (Research Centre for Educ and Labour Mark)

  • Allen, J.P.

    (Research Centre for Educ and Labour Mark)


In this paper, we empirically explore how the often reported relationship between overeducation and wages can best be understood. Exploiting the newly published Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) data (OECD 2013), we are able to achieve a better estimation of the classical ORU-model (Duncan and Hoffman, 1981), by controlling for heterogeneity of observable skills. Our findings suggest that 1) a considerable part of the effect of educational mismatches can be attributed to skills heterogeneity, and 2) that the extent to which skills explain educational mismatches varies by institutional contexts. These observations suggest that skills matter for explaining wage effects of education and educational mismatches, but the extent to which this is the case also depends on institutional contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Levels, M. & van der Velden, R.K.W. & Allen, J.P., 2013. "Educational mismatches and skills: New empirical tests of old hypotheses," Research Memorandum 062, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umagsb:2013062

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hartog, Joop & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 1988. "Education, allocation and earnings in the Netherlands: 0verschooling?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 185-194, April.
    2. Hartog, Joop, 2000. "Over-education and earnings: where are we, where should we go?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 131-147, April.
    3. Duncan, Greg J. & Hoffman, Saul D., 1981. "The incidence and wage effects of overeducation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 75-86, February.
    4. 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 434-452, July.
    5. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-880, June.
    6. F Green & Steven McIntosh & Anna Vignoles, 1999. "Overeducation and Skills - Clarifying the Concepts," CEP Discussion Papers dp0435, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Séamus McGuinness, 2006. "Overeducation in the Labour Market," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 387-418, July.
    8. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters,in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Glenda Quintini, 2011. "Over-Qualified or Under-Skilled: A Review of Existing Literature," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 121, OECD Publishing.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. ""Overeducation" in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 101-122, April.
    13. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, January.
    14. Hersch, Joni, 1991. "Education Match and Job Match," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 140-144, February.
    15. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hampf, Franziska & Woessmann, Ludger, 2016. "Vocational vs. General Education and Employment over the Life-Cycle: New Evidence from PIAAC," IZA Discussion Papers 10298, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Sellami Sana & Verhaest Dieter & Nonneman Walter & Van Trier Walter, 2017. "The Impact of Educational Mismatches on Wages: The Influence of Measurement Error and Unobserved Heterogeneity," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-20, February.
    3. repec:esr:qecsas:2017:win:redmond is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1423-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Guillermo Montt, 2017. "Field-of-study mismatch and overqualification: labour market correlates and their wage penalty," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, December.
    6. repec:cep:cverdp:003 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. van der Velden, Rolf & Bijlsma, Ineke, 2017. "Skill effort: A new theoretical perspective on the relation between skills, skill use, mismatches, and wages," ROA Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    8. Sandra Nieto, 2015. "Overeducation, skills and wage penalty: Evidence for Spain using PIAAC data," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 10,in: Marta Rahona López & Jennifer Graves (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 10, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 30, pages 597-616 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    9. repec:esr:forcas:qec2017win is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:bla:asiaec:v:30:y:2016:i:4:p:375-400 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unm:umagsb:2013062. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Leonne Portz). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.