A side effect of a university boom: rising incidence of overeducation among tertiary educated workers in Poland

Open access


This paper analyses changes in overeducation incidence in Poland in 2006‑2014. It finds that a rise in number of tertiary educated workers outpaced an increase in number of jobs requiring tertiary education, which resulted in a substantial growth of overeducation incidence. The overeducation increase was driven mainly by mild overeducation rather than severe overeducation. Overeducated workers are usually young with little job experience. Women are found at lower risk of severe overeducation compared to men, but relatively more at risk of mild overeducation. A low risk of overeducation is associated with having studied technical and health programmes.

Aleksynska, M., & Tritah, A. (2013). Occupation-education mismatch of immigrant workers in Europe: Context and policies. Economics of Education Review, 36, 229-244.

Bilans Kapitału Ludzkiego (BKL). Baza badania pracodawcow 2010-2014 (2015). Polska Agencja Rozwoju Przedsiębiorczości.

Boll, C., Leppin, J. S., & Schomann, K. (2016). Who is overeducated and why? Probit and dynamic mixed multinomial logit analyses of vertical mismatch in East and West Germany. Education Economics, 24(6), 639-662.

Buchel, F., & van Ham, M. (2003). Overeducation, regional labour markets and spatial flexibility. Journal of Urban Economics, 53, 482-493.

Chevalier, A. (2003). Measuring Over-Education. Economica, 70, 509-531.

De Grip, A., Bosma, H., Willems, D., & van Boxtel, M. (2008). Job-worker mismatch and cognitive decline. Oxford Economic Papers, 60(2), 237-253.

Dekker, R., De Grip, A., & Heijke, H. (2002). The effects of training and overeducation on career mobility in a segmented labour market. International Journal of Manpower, 23(2), 106-125.

Dolton, P., & Vignoles, A. (2000). The incidence and effects of overeducation in the U.K. graduate labour market. Economics of Education Review, 19(2), 179-198.

Flisi, S., Goglio, V., Meroni, E. C., Rodrigues, M., & Vera-Toscano, E. (2017). Measuring Occupational Mismatch: Overeducation and Overskill in Europe - Evidence from PIAAC. Social Indicators Research, 131(3), 1211-1249.

Freeman, R. B. (1976). The overeducated American. New York: Academic Press.

Frei, C., & Sousa-Poza, A. (2012). Overeducation: permanent or transitory?. Applied Economics, 44(14), 1837-1847.

Frenette, M. (2004). The Overqualified Canadian graduate: the role of the academic program in the incidence, persistence, and economic returns to overqualification. Economics of Education Review, 23(1), 29-45.

Głowny Urząd Statystyczny (2015). Badanie Aktywności Ekonomicznej Ludności 2008- 2014 [Data file].

Gottschalk, P., & Hansen, M. (2003). Is the proportion of college workers in noncollege jobs increasing? Journal of Labor Economics, 21(2), 449-471.

Groot, W., & Maassen van den Brink, H. (2000). Overeducation in the labor market: a meta-analysis. Economics of Education Review, 19(2), 149-158.

Jauhiainen, S. (2011). Overeducation in the Finnish regional labour markets. Papers in Regional Science, 90(3), 573-588.

Kiersztyn, A. (2011). Racjonalne inwestycje czy złudne nadzieje: nadwyżka wykształcenia na polskim rynku pracy. Polityka Społeczna, 38(1), 7-14.

Kiersztyn, A. (2013). Stuck in a mismatch? The persistence of overeducation during twenty years of the post-communist transition in Poland. Economics of Education Review, 32(1), 78-91.

Kruger, J., & Dunning, D. (1999). Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(6), 1121-1134.

Kucel, A., & Vilalta-Bufi, M. (2012). Graduate labor mismatch in Poland. Polish Sociological Review, 3(179), 413-429.

Leuven, E., & Oosterbeek, H. (2011). Overeducation and mismatch in the labor market. In E. A. Hanushek, S. Machin, & L. Woessmann (Eds.), Handbook of the Economics of Education (Vol. 4, pp. 282-386).

Lindley, J., & McIntosh, S. (2010). Is the over-education wage penalty permanent? (The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics Working Paper).

Mavromaras, K., & McGuinness, S. (2012). Overskilling dynamics and education pathways. Economics of Education Review, 31(5), 619-628.

McGuinness, S. (2006). Overeducation in the Labour Market. Journal of Economic Surveys, 20(3), 387-418.

McGuinness, S., Bergin, A., & Whelan, A. (2015). A comparative time series analysis of overeducation in Europe: is there a common policy approach? (University of Brighton STYLE Working Papers, WP 5.1).

McGuinness, S., & Wooden, M. (2009). Overskilling, job insecurity and career mobility. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 48(2), 265-286.

Pouliakas, K. (2013). The Skill Mismatch Challenge in Europe. In Employment and Social Developments in Europe 2012. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Quintini, G. (2011). Over-qualified or under-skilled: a review of the existing literature (OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 121).

Robst, J. (1995). Career mobility, job match, and overeducation. Eastern Economic Journal, 21(4), 539-550.

Rubb, S. (2003). Overeducation: a short or long run phenomenon for individuals?. Economics of Education Review, 22(4), 389-394.

Sicherman, N. (1991). Overeducation in the labor market. Journal of Labor Economics, 9(21), 101-121.

Sicherman, N., & Galor, O. (1990). A theory of career mobility. Journal of Political Economy, 98(1), 169-192.

Sloane, P. J., Battu, H., & Seaman, P. T. (1999). Overeducation, undereducation and the British labour market. Applied Economics, 31(11), 1437-1453.

Verhaest, D., & Omey, E. (2006). The impact of overeducation and its measurement. Social Indicators Research, 77(3), 419-448.

Wasmer, E., Fredriksson, P., Lamo, A., Messina, J., & Peri, G. (2007). The macroeconomics of education in Europe. In G. Brunello, P. Garibaldi, & E. Wasmer (Eds.), Education and Training in Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 119 119 9
PDF Downloads 29 29 3