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Wage effects of job-worker mismatches: Heterogeneous skills or institutional effects?

  • Velden R.K.W. van der
  • Badillo-Amador L.
  • Allen J.P.

    (GSBE)

The strong wage effects related to mismatches between a workers education and that required in the job are usually attributed to assignment theory. This theory asserts that productivity and wages depend on the education-job match, which determines the utilization of skills. However, recent research shows that educational mismatches are only weakly related to skill utilization, which in any case fails to account for the bulk of the wage effects. Two alternative theories have been put forward to explain the observed wage effects. One points to wage setting institutions that cause wages to be based on job characteristics regardless of individual performance, the other to the heterogeneity of skills within a given educational level. Both theories explain existing results, but have never been tested directly. In this paper we show that the former theory explains observed wage effects in the public sector, and the latter theory those in the private sector.

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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE) in its series Research Memorandum with number 071.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umagsb:2013071
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  1. Seamus McGuinness & Peter J. Sloane, 2009. "Labour Market Mismatch Among UK Graduates; An Analysis Using REFLEX Data," Papers WP294, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  2. Chevalier, Arnaud & Lindley, Joanne, 2006. "Over-Education and the Skills of UK Graduates," IZA Discussion Papers 2442, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. ""Overeducation" in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 101-22, April.
  4. Giorgio Di Pietro & Peter Urwin, 2006. "Education and skills mismatch in the Italian graduate labour market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 79-93.
  5. Cohn, Elchanan & Khan, Shahina P., 1995. "The wage effects of overschooling revisited," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 67-76, March.
  6. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1988. "An Analysis of Public- and Private-Sector Wages Allowing for Endogenous Choices of Both Government and Union Status," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 229-53, April.
  7. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-80, June.
  8. Lourdes Badillo-Amador & Luis E. Vila, 2013. "Education and skill mismatches: wage and job satisfaction consequences," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(5), pages 416 - 428, June.
  9. repec:eme:ijmpps:v:34:y:2013:i:1:p:416-428 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Bauer, Thomas K., 2002. "Educational mismatch and wages: a panel analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 221-229, June.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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