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Educational mismatches and labor market outcomes: Evidence from both vertical and horizontal mismatches in Thailand

Piriya Pholphirul (School of Development Economics, National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok, Thailand)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Educational mismatches constitute negative impacts on labor markets in most countries, Thailand is no exception. The purpose of this paper is to quantify the degree of educational mismatch in Thailand and its impacts on labor market outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

This study analyzes data obtained from Thailand’s Labor Force Survey to estimate the likelihood of horizontal and vertical mismatches and their impacts on labor market outcomes.

Findings

Estimation results reveal the existence of a high level of both vertical and horizontal mismatches in the labor market. The vertical mismatch tends to be most prevalent in the case of graduates with degrees in the social sciences, while the existence of the horizontal mismatch is mostly found in the case of graduates with backgrounds in the physical sciences. Samples with a degree in health science seem to be least impacted by both types of mismatch. Education-job mismatches, either vertical or horizontal mismatches, are found to cause negative impacts on workers’ employment. Findings indicate that workers who encountered either horizontal or vertical educational mismatches tended to have lower monthly incomes than did those without such mismatches. Vertical mismatches seemed to result in lower incomes than did the horizontal mismatches. Furthermore, both types of mismatch are found to not have any significant impact on workers’ employability.

Research limitations/implications

Nevertheless, due to different types of mismatches such as skill mismatch or personality mismatch, this paper only quantifies degree mismatch on the context of Thailand only. Nevertheless, different structure of labor market can show different findings.

Practical implications

Both horizontal mismatch and vertical mismatch can be mitigated with strong collaboration system between colleges/universities and employers. Therefore, the government should further promote better cooperation between universities and the private sector (industry-university linkages) by encouraging more exchanges between high-level executives and students of the private sector and higher-education institutes. More opportunities for students to practice their skills in real workplace settings should be provided, and students should also be able to gain credits from participating in such training. In Thailand, at present there are only a few degree programs that require students to complete an internship.

Social implications

As for social policy recommendations, to reduce both horizontal and vertical mismatches in practices, it is essential that the education sector promote a life-long learning framework that allows workers whose jobs do not match their educational background (or with their educational attainment) to receive the training and develop the skills required by employers.

Originality/value

Comparing to other literature in these areas in which survey data from the authors are relied, this paper, however, uses the Thai Labor Force Survey, which is the national representative sample data set. The results found from this paper are therefore useful to be reliable on implying appropriated policy recommendations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research paper was funded by The Research Center, National Institute of Development Administration. The author would like to thank Duenchai Klong-ngern, Kochata Thowladda, and Thananut Singhathep for their excellent research assistance.

Citation

Pholphirul, P. (2017), "Educational mismatches and labor market outcomes: Evidence from both vertical and horizontal mismatches in Thailand", Education + Training, Vol. 59 No. 5, pp. 534-546. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-11-2016-0173

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited