Overeducation in Europe: trends, convergence, and drivers

October 1, 2018 | Journal Article

Authors: Seamus McGuinness , Adele Bergin , Adele Whelan
Oxford Economic Papers , Vol. 70, Issue 4, October, 2018, pp. 994–1015

Overeducation describes the situation whereby workers are located in jobs for
which they are deemed overqualified. This paper examines patterns in overeducation
between countries using a specifically designed panel data set constructed
from the quarterly Labour Force Surveys of 28 EU countries over a 12- to 15-year
period. It is not the case that overeducation has been rising rapidly over time in all
countries, and where overeducation has grown, the trend has been very gradual.
Furthermore, overeducation rates were found to be static or falling in approximately
50% of the 28 EU countries. The evidence points towards convergence in overeducation
at a rate of 3.3% per annum. In terms of the determinants of overeducation we
find evidence to support policies aimed at improving effective female participation,
labour market flexibility and the practical aspects of educational provision as a
means of reducing the incidence of overeducation within countries.

  • Publication Details

    Journal Article

    ESRI Series Number: 201832
    Research Area: Labour Markets and Skills
    Date of Publication: October 1, 2018
    Published Online: June 12, 2018
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Place of Publication: Oxford
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