Overeducation among European university graduates: A constraint or a choice?

November 13, 2017 | Book/Report Chapter

Authors: Luis Ortiz , Seamus McGuinness
European Youth Labour Markets , pp.157-174

Resorting to REFLEX/HEGESCO data on university graduates from 15 countries, the chapter explores the association between overeducation, on the one hand, and graduates’ job dissatisfaction and satisfaction with the university, on the other hand. We apply propensity score matching techniques to our data in order to control the effect of a series of personal and job characteristics that may explain both overeducation and satisfaction with either job or education. Our results reveal a real and negative impact of overeducation on job dissatisfaction and satisfaction of education. This negative impact cannot be attributed either to observable characteristics that also determine graduates’ job dissatisfaction or job regret or to job preferences that lead graduates to trade off overeducation for other job utilities. Only in the case of job security, we find some sign that job match could be traded off for security in employment.

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