Academic Literature

Overeducation in US – 66% of workers remaining overeducated after one year research finds

In their paper The career prospects of overeducated Americans, (Preliminary version) @ unc.edu Brian Clark, Clément Joubert and Arnaud Maurel analyze career dynamics for the substantial share of U.S. workers who are deemed overeducated in the literature.

They use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 combined with the pooled 1989-1991 waves of the Current Population Survey to analyze overeducation status transi- tions and the corresponding effects on wages.

They find that overeducation is a fairly persistent phenomenon at the aggregate and individual levels, with 66% of workers remaining overeducated after one year.

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Further, the hazard rate out of overeducation drops by about 60% during the first 5 years spent overeducated. However, the estimation of a mixed proportional hazard model suggests that this is attributable to selection on unobservables rather than true duration dependence.

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Finally, overeducation is associated with lower current as well as future wages, which points to the existence of scarring effects.

The career prospects of overeducated Americans

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