Horizontal Mismatch between Employment and Field of Education: Evidence from a Systematic Literature Review

M.A. Somers, S.J. Cabus, W. Groot, H.M. van den Brink

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper provides a systematic review of the growing literature on the poor match between employees' field degree and the job requirements, also referred to as horizontal mismatch. We identify the different definitions used in the literature and find that each measure of horizontal mismatch yields substantially different incidence rates. We discuss the validity of the different measures and conclude that a more uniform definition of horizontal mismatch is needed. The likelihood of horizontal mismatch is among other things determined by the extent to which employees possess general skills as opposed to occupation-specific skills, and, it appears to be more frequently present among older workers. Compared to well-matched employees, horizontally mismatched workers generally incur a wage penalty, are less satisfied with their jobs, and are more likely to regret their study programme. The ensuing findings offer guidance to prevent horizontal mismatch as well as a roadmap for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-603
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Economic Surveys
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

JEL classifications

  • j24 - "Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity"
  • j21 - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

Keywords

  • Education
  • Labour
  • Mismatch
  • Occupation
  • Skills
  • SELF-EMPLOYMENT
  • EARNINGS
  • COLLEGE MAJOR
  • JOB MISMATCHES
  • OVER-EDUCATION
  • LABOR-MARKET
  • EARLY CAREER
  • IMPACT
  • OVEREDUCATION
  • SCHOOL-LEAVERS

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