Overeducation: A Short or Long Run Phenomenon for Individuals?

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Analyzing a large data set from the 1990s, this paper attempts to gain insights on the time horizon of overeducation. Overeducation could be a short-run phenomenon for individuals if it occurs as a temporary form of employment; perhaps allowing workers to develop career opportunities or gain experience. However, overeducation may be a way for workers to compensate for weaknesses in other areas of human capital (school quality, experience, etc.), thus a long-run phenomenon for other individuals. Currently one in five overeducated individuals are able to remain employed and exit the category within a year. Additionally, approximately 3% of just-educated individuals enter the overeducated category the following year. The findings are robust, occurring for a variety of demographic groups during different stages in the business cycle.


Published: Rubb, Stephen. "Overeducation: A Short or Long Run Phenomenon for Individuals?" Economics of Education Review 22.4 (2003): 389–394.