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Educational mismatches and skills: New empirical tests of old hypotheses

  • Allen J.P.
  • Velden R.K.W. van der
  • Levels M.


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.

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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE) in its series Research Memorandum with number 062.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unm:umagsb:2013062
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  1. Nachum Sicherman, 1987. "Over-Education in the Labor Market," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 48, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  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. 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.
  4. Séamus McGuinness, 2006. "Overeducation in the Labour Market," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 387-418, 07.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Hersch, Joni, 1991. "Education Match and Job Match," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 140-44, February.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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