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Measuring Overeducation: Incidence, Correlation and Overlaps Across Indicators and Countries

Capsada-Munsech, Queralt

Measuring Overeducation: Incidence, Correlation and Overlaps Across Indicators and Countries Thumbnail


Queralt Capsada-Munsech


The methodological debate on how to measure overeducation has been present since the introduction of the topic in the academic debate. Nevertheless, there is still no consensus on a preferred indicator. This article aims at contributing to the existing methodological debate providing systematic and cross-country evidence on the variation across overeducation measurements. Using REFLEX/HEGESCO and EULFS datasets, I provide evidence on within and across countries variation on the incidence, correlation and overlaps across the main types of objective, statistical and subjective overeducation indicators. Results suggest that worker’s self-reported indicators better cope with comparative studies, while in single-country studies objective indicators are likely to provide a more in-depth and detailed measurement. The use of statistical indicators is advised in contexts with labour markets that easily adapt to educational and employment changes, especially if these are not affected by credential inflation. However, it is advisable to use more than one indicator whenever data allows it, as different types of overeducation measurements provide different outcomes and results are likely to be complementary rather than excluding information on the overeducation phenomenon. This is especially relevant when overeducation is used as a dependent variable rather than a predictor. An initial review and discussion of the existing types of overeducation measurements and their advantages and drawbacks precedes the empirical evidence.


Capsada-Munsech, Q. (2019). Measuring Overeducation: Incidence, Correlation and Overlaps Across Indicators and Countries. Social Indicators Research, 145(1), 279-301.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 25, 2019
Online Publication Date Mar 28, 2019
Publication Date Aug 31, 2019
Deposit Date Mar 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 1, 2019
Journal Social Indicators Research
Print ISSN 0303-8300
Electronic ISSN 1573-0921
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 145
Issue 1
Pages 279-301


Published Journal Article (Advance online version) (1.1 Mb)

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Advance online version This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution,
and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the
source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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