We deploy the unique opportunity of a dataset of Flemish school leavers to measure the incidence of over- and undereducation on the basis of the six applied measures in the literature. The incidence of overeducation in the first job after leaving school ranges from only 8% to 51%, undereducation ranges from 3% to 21%. While 66% is overeducated on the basis of at least one measure, only 3% is overeducated on the basis of every measure. Mismatch correlations range from 5% to 82%. Also the categories in terms of gender, educational level and region of residence with the highest likelihood of being overeducated depend on the measure. These findings clearly underline the weakness of the literature on this subject. However, measuring overeducation in different ways enables to derive some alternative concepts. Genuine overeducation amounts to about 20%. The incidence of over- and undereducation is both attributed to qualification inflation and deflation, and a credential gap. Finally, about 80% of the incidence of overeducation is classified as being structural.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 11, 2005
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