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Which skills protect graduates against a slack labour market?

  • Humburg Martin
  • Grip Andries de
  • Velden Rolf van der

    (METEOR)

This paper explores the relationship between graduates’ skill levels and the risk of overeducationand unemployment in 17 European countries. We distinguish between field-specific and generalskills and between two labour market segments, the occupational domain of a particular field ofstudy and the labour market segment which requires general skills. In line with the predictions ofthe crowding out hypothesis, we find that the level of protection afforded by field-specificskills against the risk of overeducation increases with the degree of excess labour supply in theoccupational domain of the graduate’s field of study. Conversely, general skills offer moreprotection against the risk of overeducation when excess labour supply in the labour marketsegment which requires general skills is higher. Field-specific skills also protect graduatesagainst the risk of unemployment, whereas graduates’ level of general skills appears to beunrelated to the risk of becoming unemployed.

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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR) in its series Research Memorandum with number 002.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2012002
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  1. Éric Maurin & Dominique Goux, 1994. "Éducation, expérience et salaire," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 116(5), pages 155-178.
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