Over-Education and the Skills of UK Graduates

38 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2006

See all articles by Arnaud Chevalier

Arnaud Chevalier

University College Dublin (UCD) - Institute for the Study of Social Change; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Joanne Lindley

University of Nottingham - School of Economics

Date Written: November 2006

Abstract

During the early Nineties the proportion of UK graduates doubled over a very short period of time. This paper investigates the effect of the expansion on early labour market attainment, focusing on over-education. We define over-education by combining occupation codes and a self-reported measure for the appropriateness of the match between qualification and the job. We therefore define three groups of graduates: matched, apparently over-educated and genuinely over-educated; to compare pre- and post-expansion cohorts of graduates. We find the proportion of over-educated graduates has doubled, even though over-education wage penalties have remained stable. This suggests that the labour market accommodated most of the large expansion of university graduates. Apparently over-educated graduates are mostly undistinguishable from matched graduates, while genuinely over-educated graduates principally lack non-academic skills such as management and leadership. Additionally, genuine over-education increases unemployment by three months but has no impact of the number of jobs held. Individual unobserved heterogeneity differs between the three groups of graduates but controlling for it, does not alter these conclusions.

Keywords: over-education, skills

JEL Classification: J24, J31, I2

Suggested Citation

Chevalier, Arnaud and Lindley, Joanne, Over-Education and the Skills of UK Graduates (November 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2442, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=947465 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.947465

Arnaud Chevalier (Contact Author)

University College Dublin (UCD) - Institute for the Study of Social Change ( email )

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Joanne Lindley

University of Nottingham - School of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/economics/staff/details/joanne_lindley.htm

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