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Overeducation in Europe

Current Issues in Theory and Policy Edited by the late Felix Büchel, formerly Senior Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany, Andries de Grip, Head, Division of Labour Market and Training, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) and Professor of Economics, Maastricht University, The Netherlands and Antje Mertens, Berlin School of Economics, Germany
Overeducation is one of the most important mechanisms for labour market adjustment when there is an excess supply of highly skilled workers. However, there is much debate about the consequences of this phenomena and the short- and long-term effects for both the overeducated worker and the economy as a whole. This book contributes to our understanding of recent developments in the research on overeducation by providing a detailed overview of the pertinent theoretical and policy issues.
Extent: 256 pp
Hardback Price: $135.00 Web: $121.50
Publication Date: 2004
ISBN: 978 1 84376 361 1
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Labour Economics
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Labour Policy
Overeducation is one of the most important mechanisms for labour market adjustment when there is an excess supply of highly skilled workers. However, there is much debate about the consequences of this phenomena and the short- and long-term effects for both the overeducated worker and the economy as a whole. This book contributes to our understanding of recent developments in the research on overeducation by providing a detailed overview of the pertinent theoretical and policy issues.

The authors study evidence that a substantial number of workers in Europe are overqualified and challenge the wisdom of greater investments in the education of the workforce. Although it may appear a waste of resources if many workers have a higher level of education than their job requires, others argue that overeducation may actually facilitate the development of a competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in Europe. They move on to look at labour mobility and skill mismatches in the labour market, and examine the impact of overeducation on earnings. They also address the somewhat controversial issue of how to measure employee overqualification, and propose an income ratio based on the difference between actual and potential earnings as an effective approach. Finally, they look at the effect of overeducation on specific groups in society such as licensed professionals, university graduates and ethnic minorities.

Economists, social scientists, and academics interested in labour market theory and policy will find this an insightful and original volume which will make an important addition to the literature on overeducation.
‘This is a laudable objective and researchers in this field will surely find this book of great interest. . .’
– Arnold Chevalier, Education Economics
Contributors: A. Alba-Ramírez, H. Battu, M. Blázquez, F. Büchel, P. Dolton, A. de Grip, W. Groot, M. Hoppe, U. Jensen, M. Jochmann, H. Kiiver, H. Maassen van den Brink, M. Maier, A. Mertens, J. Muysken, F. Pfeiffer, W. Pohlmeier, M. Silles, P.J. Sloane, T. Zwick
Contents: Preface Introduction 1. The Overeducated European? 2. Much Ado About Nothing? What Does the Overeducation Literature Really Tell Us? Part I: Mobility 3. The Dynamics of Skill Mismatches in the Dutch Labour Market 4. Types of Job Match, Overeducation and Labour Mobility in Spain Part II: Wages 5. The Causal Effect of Overqualification on Earnings: Evidence from a Bayesian Approach 6. The Impact of Education and Mismatch on Wages: Germany, 1984–2000 7. Overeducation and Individual Heterogeneity Part III: Measurement 8. Measuring Overeducation with Earnings Frontiers and Panel Data Part IV: Special Groups 9. Credentialism by Members of Licensed Professions 10. The Determinants and Consequences of Graduate Overeducation 11. Educational Mismatch and Ethnic Minorities in England and Wales Index