The two main purposes of the paper are: first, to provide an empirical test of the widely‐held view among employers that overqualified workers are less committed as evidenced by heightened levels of job search, and second, to evaluate the three explanations of overqualification (matching theory, the theory of differential overqualification, and the career mobility hypothesis) in which job search plays a central role.
Maximum likelihood probit estimation is conducted on a sample of employed Canadians aged 18 and over who were surveyed in 2000. Predictors of job search are derived from the economic assumption that the employee's decision to undertake job search depends on a cost‐benefit assessment.
The empirical results indicate that overqualified workers are more active job searchers, and lend support to the matching theory view that overqualification is sub‐optimal from the worker's perspective.
This paper adds to the small number of European studies exploring the connection between overqualification and job search. The impacts of overqualification are especially important for Canadian employers given the high incidence of overqualification of the Canadian work force.
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