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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2017

Rolf van der Velden and Dieter Verhaest

The explicit assumption in most literature on educational and skill mismatches is that these mismatches are inherently costly for workers. However, the results in the…

Abstract

The explicit assumption in most literature on educational and skill mismatches is that these mismatches are inherently costly for workers. However, the results in the literature on the effects of underqualification or underskilling on wages and job satisfaction only partly support this hypothesis. Rather than assuming that both skill surpluses and skill deficits are inherently costly for workers, we interpret these mixed findings by taking a learning perspective on skill mismatches. Following the theory of Vygotski on the so-called “zone of proximal development,” we expect that workers who start their job with a small skill deficit, show more skill growth than workers who start in a matching job or workers with a more severe skill deficit. We test this hypothesis using the Cedefop European skills and jobs survey (ESJS) and the results confirm these expectations. Workers learn more from job tasks that are more demanding than if they would work in a job that perfectly matches their initial skill level and this skill growth is largest for those who start with a small skill deficit. The learning opportunities are worst when workers start in a job for which they have a skill surplus. This is reflected in the type of learning activities that workers take up. Workers with a small skill deficit are more often engaged in informal learning activities. Finally, workers who started with a small skill deficit are no less satisfied with their job than workers who started in a well-matched job. We conclude that a skill match is good for workers, but a small skill deficit is even better. This puts some responsibility on employers to keep job tasks and responsibilities at a challenging level for their employees.

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Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-377-7

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Dieter Verhaest and Eddy Omey

The purpose of this paper is to assess the measurement sensitivity of the estimated determinants of overeducation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the measurement sensitivity of the estimated determinants of overeducation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyses the determinants of overeducation among Flemish school leavers in their first job by means of probit regression analysis. Overeducation is measured on the basis of job analysis (JA), self‐assessments and realised matches.

Findings

The results demonstrate that the application of different overeducation measures sometimes leads to different outcomes. Only a few variables – for instance the student's academic grade in the final year – are consistently found to be important for the explanation of overeducation. Some outcomes are consistent with the supposition that several indicators actually measure other concepts.

Research limitations/implications

Further research using JA measures that are based on alternative and more recent occupational classifications would be useful.

Originality/value

The application of different measures provides further insight into the overeducation measurement problem.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Dieter Verhaest and Elsy Verhofstadt

– The purpose of this paper is to investigate how job demands and control contribute to the relationship between overeducation and job satisfaction.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how job demands and control contribute to the relationship between overeducation and job satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on data for Belgian young workers up to the age of 26. The authors execute regression analyses, with autonomy, quantitative demands and job satisfaction as dependent variables. The authors account for unobserved individual heterogeneity by means of panel-data techniques.

Findings

The results reveal a significant role of demands and control for the relationship between overeducation and job satisfaction. At career start, overeducated workers have less control than adequately educated individuals with similar skills levels, but more control than adequately educated employees doing similar work. Moreover, their control increases faster over the career than that of adequately educated workers with a similar educational background. Finally, demands have less adverse effects on satisfaction for high-skilled workers, irrespective of their match, while control moderates the negative satisfaction effect of overeducation.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should look beyond the early career and focus on other potential compensation mechanisms for overeducation. Also the role of underlying mechanisms, such as job crafting, deserves more attention.

Practical implications

The results suggest that providing more autonomy is an effective strategy to avoid job dissatisfaction among overeducated workers.

Originality/value

The study connects two areas of research, namely, that on overeducation and its consequences and that on the role of job demands and control for workers’ well-being. The results contribute to a better understanding why overeducation persists. Moreover, they are consistent with the hypothesis that employers hire overeducated workers because they require less monitoring and are more able to cope with demands, although more direct evidence on this is needed.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2017

Abstract

Details

Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-377-7

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2017

Giuseppe Lucio Gaeta, Giuseppe Lubrano Lavadera and Francesco Pastore

This paper contributes to the literature on overeducation by empirically investigating the wage penalty of job–education mismatch among PhD holders who completed their…

Abstract

This paper contributes to the literature on overeducation by empirically investigating the wage penalty of job–education mismatch among PhD holders who completed their studies in Italy; a country where the number of new doctoral recipients has dramatically increased over recent years while personnel employed in R&D activities is still below the European average. We use cross-sectional micro-data collected in 2009 and rely on different definitions of education–job mismatch such as, overeducation, overskilling, and dissatisfaction with the use of skills. We find that overeducation and skills dissatisfaction are associated with significantly lower wages but there is no wage penalty from overskilling. Furthermore, those who simultaneously report overeducation and skills dissatisfaction experience a particularly high wage penalty.

Details

Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-377-7

Keywords

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