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An Analysis of the Determinants of Over-Education Among Italian Ph.D Graduates

Barbara Ermini (), Luca Papi () and Francesca Scaturro
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Barbara Ermini: Università Politecnica delle Marche

Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, 2017, vol. 3, issue 2, No 3, 167-207

Abstract: Abstract The paper examines the determinants of over-education among Italian Ph.D graduates drawn from the four cohorts 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 surveyed by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). We study over-education through the definitions of over-skilling, over-qualification and a combination of the two phenomena (genuine over-education). The analysis spans the years 2004–2014 allowing us to investigate job education mismatch before and during the severe economic crisis. The results show that socio-demographic variables do not exert a relevant influence on Ph.D graduates’ over-education contradicting what the empirical literature has found for college graduates. More than socio-demographic variables, those variables related to the doctoral educational path turn out to be positively strategic for the outcome in the labor market. In particular, an experience abroad is always a positive driver to overcome any kind of job mismatch. Similarly, job related characteristics are also relevant determinants of over-education with jobs within the academia or the research sector more often associated with successful labor matching. Conversely, accessing jobs via informal channels or working as self-employed increases the risk of over-education. The investigation of the effect of the recent economic crisis emphasizes how the recession makes the labor market more selective with Ph.D and job-related variables, worsening the risk of incurring in job-education mismatch. Finally, we discuss some policy implications in the light of the empirical findings of our analysis.

Keywords: Over-education; Over-skilling; Over-qualification; Ph.D graduates; Crisis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C2 I2 I23 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s40797-017-0053-3

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