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Overeducation, Job Competition and Unemployment

  • Muysken Joan
  • Weel Bas ter

    (MERIT)

The changing wage and employment structure in some OECD countries has beenattributed to increased levels of education and technical change in favour of skilledworkers. However, in the Netherlands and some other OECD countries the wages ofskilled workers did not rise, whereas investment in skills rose dramatically. This paperoffers a theory which is able to explain the dramatic increase in the level of education andskills without rising wages since the early 1980s. In this respect, we integrate the supplyside framework (human capital investments) and the demand side (containingendogenous skill upgrading as a result of job competition and screening) in a generalequilibrium model. In this way we provide a theory for the empirical observation ofrising unemployment levels among unskilled workers and rising employment levels ofskilled workers with relatively stable wages.

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File URL: http://digitalarchive.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fedora/objects/guid:166f8d4b-8d29-42b7-aca7-a97ed98e08b9/datastreams/ASSET1/content
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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series Research Memorandum with number 030.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umamer:1999030
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  1. Davis, Donald R, 1998. "Does European Unemployment Prop Up American Wages? National Labor Markets and Global Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 478-94, June.
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  11. Carlin, Wendy & Soskice, David, 1990. "Macroeconomics and the Wage Bargain: A Modern Approach to Employment, Inflation, and the Exchange Rate," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198772446, June.
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  18. Sanders Mark & Weel Bas ter, 2000. "Skill-Biased Technical Change: Theoretical Concepts, Empirical Problems and a Survey of the Evidence," Research Memorandum 012, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  19. Robert H. Topel, 1997. "Factor Proportions and Relative Wages: The Supply-Side Determinants of Wage Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 55-74, Spring.
  20. Muysken Joan & Sanders Mark & Zon Adriaan van, 1999. "Wage Divergence and Asymmetries in Unemployment in a Model with Biased Technical Change," Research Memorandum 019, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  21. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
  22. Pissarides, C A, 1979. "Job Matchings with State Employment Agencies and Random Search," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(356), pages 818-33, December.
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  24. Sarantis, Nicholas, 1993. "Distribution, Aggregate Demand and Unemployment in OECD Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 459-67, March.
  25. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1995. "The Collapse in Demand for the Unskilled and Unemployment across the OECD," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, Spring.
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  28. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-68, November.
  29. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 1994. "The Firm as a Communication Network," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 809-839.
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