Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Field-of-study mismatch and overqualification: labour market correlates and their wage penalty

an article by Guillermo Montt (International Labour Office, Genève, Switzerland) IZA Journal of Labor Economics Volume 6 Article 2 (2017)


Field-of-study mismatch occurs when a worker, trained in a particular field, works in another field. This study draws on the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) to explore how skill supply and labour market demand dynamics influence mismatch. It updates cross-national estimates on mismatch and estimates the mismatch wage penalty.

Findings suggest that around 40% of workers are mismatched by field at their qualification level, 11% overqualified in their field and 13% overqualified and working outside their field. The saturation of the field in the labour market and the transferability of the fields’ skills predict the incidence of field-of-study mismatch and over-qualification.

Workers who are mismatched by field only suffer a wage penalty if they are overqualified.

JEL Classification: J24, J31

Full text (PDF)

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