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Overeducation at a glance. Determinants and wage effects of the educational mismatch based on AlmaLaurea data

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  • Caroleo, Floro Ernesto
  • Pastore, Francesco

Abstract

This essay delivers two main innovations with respect to the existing literature. First, and foremost, by extending the work of Nicaise (2010) relative to the reservation wage to the case of overeducation, we propose a statistical test to discriminate between alternative theoretical interpretations of the determinants of overeducation through the Heckman sample selection procedure. Second, the essay provides the first available economic analysis of the consequences of the educational mismatch in Italy as based on AlmaLaurea data, the largest and richest data bank available in the country. The data includes a large number of university graduates enrolled in a given year before the Bologna reform and asks a large number of questions allowing us measuring among others the quality of education from high school. This wealth of information is a condition to provide the most comprehensive, accurate and reliable assessment of overeducation in the country. The educational mismatch 5 years from graduation is relatively high – at 11.4% and 8% for overeducation and overskilling, respectively – by EU standards. Ceteris paribus the parents of the mismatched have lower educational levels according to school tracking. Most humanities and social sciences degrees but also geology, biology and psychology are associated with both types of mismatch. The quality of education also correlates to the educational mismatch. We find a nonconditional wage penalty associated to overeducation and overskilling of 20% and 16% and a conditional one of about 12% and 7%, respectively. The Heckman sample selection model returns a slightly higher sample selection corrected wage penalty, supporting not only the job competition and job assignment models, but also the human capital model. Other concurrent statistical tests point to the difficulty that the educational system faces in providing work-related skills to graduates.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroleo, Floro Ernesto & Pastore, Francesco, 2017. "Overeducation at a glance. Determinants and wage effects of the educational mismatch based on AlmaLaurea data," GLO Discussion Paper Series 15, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:15
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    Cited by:

    1. Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio & Lubrano Lavadera, Giuseppe & Pastore, Francesco, 2018. "Overeducation wage penalty among Ph.D. holders. An unconditional quantile regression analysis on Italian data," GLO Discussion Paper Series 180, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Jacek Liwiński, 2016. "Does it pay to study abroad? Evidence from Poland," Working Papers 2016-25, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    University-to-work transition; educational mismatch; sample selection bias; AlmaLaurea; Italy;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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