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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 17, 2019

University Program Characteristics and Education-Job Mismatch

  • Aleksander Kucel EMAIL logo and Montserrat Vilalta-Bufí


Over-education has been demonstrated to be frequent and persistent across countries. It often goes together with working in a job not related to the field of study (horizontal mismatch) or in a job that requires lower skills than acquired (skill mismatch). We study which program characteristics help university graduates to obtain a good job match. We do the analysis for Spain since the presence of over-education is strong in this country. We analyze the three types of mismatch: over-education, horizontal mismatch, and over-skills. We focus on the role of program characteristics in avoiding over-education in the first job after graduation, and in exiting over-education in the early career. We find that those programs that are academically prestigious and those that promote entrepreneurial skills help avoid being mismatched in the first job and, in case of being mismatched in the first job, they help exit this situation. Overall, our results give support to policies promoting the development of entrepreneurial skills in the Spanish education system.

JEL Classification: J24; I23


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Published Online: 2019-09-17

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