Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making

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KEY WORDS: Adolescent Development; Juvenile Delinquency; Youth Employment; Deviant Behavior; Delinquency Prevention.

Stevens, M. (2003). Earnings functions, specific human capital, and job matching: Tenure bias is negative. Journal of Labor Economics, 21(4), 783-805.

This article investigates the hypothesis that when measures of specific human capital (such as job tenure) are included in earnings functions, there may be a sample selection bias because of job-matching effects because workers with high unobserved match quality receive and accept high wage offers. We develop a model for wage offers in a labor market characterized by both specific human capital and job matching. The model provides a theoretical basis for empirical earnings functions containing specific capital, and it demonstrates that sample selection bias reduces the estimated return to specific human capital and tenure.
KEY WORDS: Wages Rise; Seniority; Investment; Labor.

Stier, H., & Levanon, V. (2003). Finding an adequate job: Employment and income of recent immigrants to Israel. International Migration, 41(2), 81-107.

The study examines the early market experience of recent immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union (FSU) & their mobility patterns a few years after migration. The Labour Utilization Framework, proposed by Clogg & Sullivan (1983), was analyzed to identify the employment difficulties immigrants experienced upon arrival, their short-term mobility in the labor market, & the income consequences of their disadvantaged position in the market. Using a panel study of immigrants who arrived in Israel during 1990, we found that although most of them found employment, only a minority did not experience employment hardships. Four years after their arrival, most immigrants were still employed in occupations for which they were overqualified, & only a small portion of the group managed to find adequate employment. Women had more severe employment hardships & a lower rate of mobility into the better positions. For men & women alike, almost any deviation from a stable adequate employment entailed wage penalties.
KEY WORDS: Immigrants; Israel; Income; Employment Opportunities; Slavic Cultural Groups; Occupational Mobility.

Stofferahn, C. W. (2000). Underemployment: Social fact or socially constructed reality? Rural Sociology, 65(2), 311-330.

Analyzes merged data from 1987-1990 surveys & in-depth interviews with 33 persistently underemployed rural residents to determine whether the researchers were imposing their definition of reality on the interviewees. The data from the interviews largely demonstrated a correspondence between the objective definition of reality as defined by measures of underemployment & the informants' subjective interpretation of their employment situation. This procedure demonstrated that the underemployed had created their own subjective reality, which had become an objective reality, ie, a socially created fact. A few cases, however, raised concerns about the extent to which that reality, was widely shared because the interviewees' definitions did not correspond to the researchers' objective definitions or did not make sense in their own situations. Other interviewees' comments raised significant questions about the applicability of formal labor market concepts & measures, which tend to overlook the unique characteristics of rural labor markets, eg, uncompensated labor, self-employment, & multiple job holding. Thus the in-depth interviews provided conceptual checks on the extent to which researchers can impose their definitions of the situation on respondents' subjective reality.
KEY WORDS: Underemployment; Rural Population; Interviews; Social Constructionism; Subjectivity; Ethnomethodology; Methodological Problems; Qualitative Methods.

Teichler, U. (Ed.). (2007). Careers of university graduates: Views and experiences in comparative perspectives. Dordrecht: Springer.

The book provides a series of detailed analyses of graduate employment and work in comparative perspective. It draws from the survey of graduates from 11 European countries and Japan. Scholars from twelve countries show how transition to employment, job assignments, employment assessments of the quality of employment and work vary by the graduates' socio-biographic and educational background. It also focuses on experiences during the course of study and competences acquired, international experience, regional background and regions of employment. The book explores acquired competences and job requirements as well as the relationships between program of study and subsequent employment.
KEY WORDS: University Graduates; Employment; Comparative Studies; Survey; Europe; Japan; Transition to Employment; Quality of Employment and Work; Social Background; Competences; Job Requirements.

Tremblay, D.-G. (2001). New learning models for the new knowledge-based economy: Professional and local-personal networks as a source of knowledge development in the multimedia sector. Paper presented at the Conference of the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (3rd), Lisbon, Portugal, September 13-16, 2001.

The role of professional and local-personal networks as a source of knowledge development in the new knowledge-based economy was examined in a 15-month study that focuses on people working in the multimedia industry in Montreal, Quebec. The study focused on the modes of exchange and learning, collaborative work, and management and development of knowledge within firms through exchanges between workers. Of the approximately 50 firms contacted, 18 agreed to participate in the study. Sixty open-ended interviews (48 with workers and 12 with employers or managers) were conducted. The interview responses were analyzed within the contexts of the concepts of collective competence and communities of practice. The interviews established that collaborative work, teamwork, and knowledge sharing have become normal in multimedia firms. The perceptions and values of the workers interviewed appeared to counter those of the traditional tayloristic vision of work, which assumes a strong division of labor and little if any exchange between workers. Most interviewees were ready to share information, often without expecting anything in return, and most enjoyed teamwork. Many firms used capacity to work in a group as a selection criterion when hiring employees. The managers reported looking for complementary specializations within teams.
KEY WORDS: Adult Learning; Competence; Foreign Countries; Group Dynamics; Individual Development; Information Networks; Learning Processes; Models; Organizational Climate; Organizational Communication; Organizational Objectives; Professional Development; Teamwork; Work Environment.

Vaisey, S. (2006). Education and Its discontents: Overqualification in America, 1972-2002. Social Forces, 85(2), 835-864.

The aim of this study was to explore sociological aspects of education-occupation mismatches in the United States. The author hypothesized that overqualified workers will demonstrate lower job satisfaction, greater political liberalism and lower support toward an effort-based achievement ideology. Based on the General Social Survey data, the study confirmed the expected effects and found that overqualification in the US increased substantially between 1972 and 2002.
KEY WORDS: Labor; Labor Market; Educational Attainment; Teacher Qualifications; Employment Potential; Job Skills; General Social Survey; United States; General Educational Development Tests.

van der Meer, P. H. (2006). The validity of two education requirement measures. Economics of Education Review, 25(2), 211-219.

Taking into consideration the debate on overeducation and measurements of required education, this paper compares Conen and Huijgen's (Huijgen, Conen, & Riesewijk, 1983) job level code and a classification system developed by Statistics Netherlands is based on information concerning job levels that can be translated into the level of required education. The result of the analysis demonstrated advantages of the recently developed education requirement measure from Statistics Netherlands. The study found that both measures provided the same trends of overeducation and undereducation during the observed period, but the Statistics Netherlands measure provided a more accurate estimate of these levels.
KEY WORDS: Validity; Measurement Techniques; Evaluation Methods; Comparative Analysis; Standards; Foreign Countries; Educational Attainment; Netherlands.

Van Ham, M., Mulder, C. H., & Hooimeijer, P. (2001). Local underemployment and the discouraged worker effect. Urban Studies, 38(10), 1733-1751.

The effect of poor local labor market opportunities on occupational achievement is an important aspect of the spatial mismatch hypothesis. Much of the research has concentrated on the direct link between geographical access to jobs & employment outcomes. In contrast, little attention has been given to the discouraging effect of poor chances on job search activities. The discouraged worker effect is defined as the decision to refrain from job search as a result of poor chances on the labor market. Discouragement effects can arise from a lack of individual qualifications, from discrimination in the labor market, or from a high local level of underemployment. The empirical findings of this paper, based on the Netherlands Labor Force Surveys 1994-1997, show that discouragement can enter the job search process both at the stage of deciding to enter the labor force & at the stage of deciding to engage actively in a job search. Gender differentials in discouragement are revealed in the process of self-selection into the labor force. Poor labor market chances lead to less activity in both off-the-job & on-the-job search, indicating a role of discouragement in the spatial mismatch. Individual qualifications & ascribed characteristics turn out to be more decisive than the local level of underemployment.
KEY WORDS: Labor Market; Job Search; Employment Opportunities; Occupational Qualifications; Netherlands; Spatial Analysis; Underemployment.

Vann, J. W., Wessel, R. D., & Spisak, S. A. (2000). Job opportunity evaluation matrix: Ability to perform and job attractiveness. Journal of Career Development, 26(3), 191-204.

People evaluating job opportunities must decide whether to allocate their energies, knowledge, skills, and a portion of their lives to a prospective job. Inappropriate allocations will mean wasted resources and potentially negative outcomes. This paper demonstrates how an adaptation of an opportunity evaluation scheme used in business (Aaker, 1998) can be used by the job seeker. The evaluation scheme utilizes a two-dimensional matrix that simultaneously represents job attractiveness (JA) from the perspective of the job seeker and the job seeker's ability to perform the job (ATP). This matrix simplifies the opportunity assessment process by combining multiple variables that determine job attractiveness and that determine ability to perform into one summary variable for each and then generates a recommended course of action for the job seeker based on the coordinates of those two summary variables in the matrix.
KEY WORDS: Employee Skills; Job Characteristics; Job Search; Occupational Guidance; Job Applicant Attitudes; Occupational Interests.

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

The central focus of this article is the influence of the applied measure when the impact of overeducation is analyzed. For a database of Flemish school leavers, four alternative measures of overeducation are related to job satisfaction, mobility, training participation and wages. The magnitude and significance of the effects diverge between these measures. When attained education is controlled for, overeducated workers are less satisfied, more mobile, participate less in training and earn less than adequately educated workers. When required education is controlled for, no robust results are found for job satisfaction and training participation. Overeducated workers earn more than adequately educated colleagues, but have a higher turnover rate. We have little clear results with respect to undereducation. Caution is thus recommended for the interpretation of empirical results with respect to the impact of over- and undereducation.
KEY WORDS: Job Satisfaction; Mobility; Wages; Social Indicators; Comparative Analysis; Education Work Relationship; Educational Attainment; Individual Characteristics; Economic Impact.

Verhaest, D., & Omey, E. (2006). Measuring the incidence of over-and undereducation. Quality and Quantity, 40(5), 783-803.

This study explores the incidence of over- and undereducation among school leavers on the basis of the six applied measures. The incidence of overeducation in the first job after leaving school ranges from 8% to 51%. Undereducation ranges from 3% to 21%. While 66% are overeducated based on at least one measure, only 3% are overeducated on the basis of every measure. Mismatch correlations range from 5% to 82%. Categories of gender, educational level & region of residence with the highest likelihood of being overeducated depend on the measure. These findings underline the weakness of the literature on this subject. Genuine overeducation amounts to about 20%. The incidence of over- & undereducation is attributed to qualification inflation, qualification deflation, and a credential gap. The authors estimate that about 80% of overeducation is caused by structural factors.
KEY WORDS: Education; Measurement; Mismatch; Overeducation; Undereducation; Underemployment.

Vernez, G., Krop, R., & Rydell, P. (1999). Closing the education gap: Benefits and costs. Santa Monica: Rand.

This study explored the implications of demographic trends on the quality of the future labor force and on public social expenditures. It also focused on the educational costs and social benefits of educational and immigration policy alternatives designed to close the gap in educational attainment between non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics and blacks. The RAND Education Simulation Model examines U.S. population flows through the primary, secondary, and postsecondary education systems, dividing the nation into two regions California and the rest of the nation with California chosen for the study because it has the largest immigrant and minority populations. The model estimates that in spite of the rapid growth in the percentage of minorities in the nation's population, the educational attainment of the adult population (age 25 and over) will be higher in 2015 than it was in 1990. However, unless further gains are made in the educational attainment of minorities, their share of college-educated entrants into the labor force will decrease. In addition, the educational gap between Asians and non-Hispanic whites vis-a-vis blacks and Hispanics will increase, especially in California. The results suggest that closing this educational gap would pay for itself, particularly in California. Nine appendixes provide detailed statistical tables.
KEY WORDS: Educational Equalization; United States; Minorities; Economic Aspects; Work and Learning.

Virgona, C., Waterhouse, P., Sefton, R., & Sansuinetti, J. (2003). Making experience work: Generic skills through the eyes of displaced workers. Adelaide: The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The role of generic skills in the lives, work, and employment of 127 dislocated workers in a broad cross-section of job categories in five areas of Australia were examined through individual interviews, focus groups, and a survey questionnaire. Selected findings are as follows: (1) generic skills are developed in all areas of human endeavor, including in the family, education, community, and employment environments; (2) demand for high levels of generic skills and technical skills and different kinds of generic skills (for example, entrepreneurship and enthusiasm for change) are becoming more highly valued, whereas "traditional" generic skills (such as teamwork) are being devalued; (3) although many study participants considered themselves reasonably well prepared for the demands of the current employment market, others believed that their skills had been superseded and that their values and aspirations no longer matched the requirements of work in the new economy. The study findings challenged current vocational education and training practice by demonstrating that generic skills are basically developed through experiential learning, and they reflected the need for structures and services that support lifelong learning within and beyond the world of work.
KEY WORDS: Adult Students; Dislocated Workers; Education Work Relationship; Educational Attitudes; Employee Attitudes; Employer Employee Relationship; Employment Potential; Employment Qualifications; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; Job Skills; Postsecondary Education; Questionnaires; Relevance (Education); Retraining; Secondary Education; Skill Development; Unemployment; Vocational Education; Work Attitudes.

Watson, L. (2001). Who pays for lifelong learning? Paper presented at the Research to Reality: Putting VET Research To Work. Proceedings of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA) Conference. 4th, Adelaide, South Australia, March 28-30, 2001.

Structural change in the economy has seen the emergence of human resource skills as an important intangible input to the value-adding process. The fastest growing sectors of the economy employ workers with high levels of skill. This has led to the development of a lifelong learning policy agenda that argues lifelong learning is the key to economic prosperity in the future. The lifelong learning policy agenda assumes that because education is important to worker productivity, industries and employees will be willing to finance the cost of workers' participation in education and training. The lifelong learning policy agenda emphasizes the need to motivate people and their employers to invest more in education and training. But there is a significant difference between the amount of training undertaken by high- and low-skilled workers and a disparity in the extent to which these groups of individuals attract employer support. People in highly skilled jobs are more likely to participate in continuing education and training than people in low-skilled occupations. People in low-skilled occupations are less likely to receive employer support for their participation in continuing education and training. The policy goal of "lifelong learning for all" is unlikely to be achieved unless governments actively support education and training participation among people with lower levels of skill.
KEY WORDS: Access to Education; Adult Education; Continuing Education; Corporate Support; Developed Nations; Educational Finance; Educational Policy; Educational Status Comparison; Employer Attitudes; Federal Aid; Foreign Countries; Government Role; Job Skills; Labor Force Development; Lifelong Learning; Participation; Resource Allocation; Skilled Workers; State Aid; Student Motivation; Unskilled Workers.

Westwood, A. (2002). Is new work good work? London: The Work Foundation.

Some new work is good work. Quality is ultimately defined by the individual. However, these perceptions are inevitably colored by the circumstances in which people find themselves, by the time, place, and wide range of motivations for having to do a particular job in the first place. One person's quality may be another's purgatory and vice versa. Four important changes in Great Britain's labor market are a major decline in the number of people in manual employment; a rise in skilled employment of people performing managerial, professional, and technical jobs; a rise in mixed but essentially low formal skilled employment performed by "personal and protective" workers; and the continued increase of women in the labor force. The point may be not that newer work is bad or worse because it has replaced older, more traditional industrial and manual jobs but that women do these emerging jobs. Retail has been one of the most maligned types of work, but popular perceptions have been misplaced. ASDA/Walmart has been voted the best place to work in Britain. Some reasons are its approach to its employees or colleagues and the vast range of benefits on offer to them. Retailers like ASDA have been at the forefront of business in restoring job opportunities to parts of Britain that need them the most. Britain needs more good jobs because Britains need to perform better as an entire labor market.
KEY WORDS: Adult Literacy; Compensation (Remuneration); Demand Occupations; Economic Impact; Employee Attitudes; Employees; Employment Opportunities; Employment Patterns; Foreign Countries; Job Satisfaction; Job Skills; Job Training; Labor Conditions; Labor Market; Poverty Areas; Public Opinion; Quality of Working Life; Retailing; Unskilled Occupations; Work Environment.

Wieling, M., & Borghans, L. (2001). Discrepancies between supply and demand and adjustment processes in the labour market. Labour, 15(1), 33-56.

Changes in demand & supply in segments of the labor market will affect the labor market position of workers with an educational background in a related field of study. In one economic tradition such discrepancies between supply & demand are thought to lead to unemployment in the case of excess supply & to unfilled vacancies or skill shortages in the case of excess demand. The other neoclassical-oriented tradition expects wage adjustments to take fully account of these labor market imbalances, leading to higher wages for studies with excess demand & lower wages in case of excess supply. In practice the labor market might, on the one hand, be more flexible than suggested by the first approach, but on the other hand adjustment might be incomplete & not only wages but also other aspects of the employment relationship might be affected by a friction between supply & demand. This study examines the relationship between discrepancies between labor demand & supply on the one hand & manifestations of these tensions in the labor market experience of school-leavers on the other hand. To investigate this relationship, a random coefficient model has been used that allows for different adjustment processes for the various educational types, but still makes full use of all the information available. The analyses provide insights about the importance of different adjustment processes & their complementarity & substitutability. We show that on average, supply surpluses lead to pressure to accept jobs at a level lower than the school-leavers educational level, jobs with relatively low wages, & jobs with part-time contracts. A direct link between supply surpluses & unemployment is only found for a few specific fields of study. Unemployment seems to occur mostly when school leavers do not take temporary jobs or jobs below their educational level in case of excess supply.
KEY WORDS: Supply and Demand; Employment Opportunities; Labor Market; Education Work Relationship; Occupational Qualifications; Wages; Unemployment; Underemployment; Labor Supply.

Wilkins, R. (2006). Personal and job characteristics associated with underemployment. Australian Journal of Labour Economics, 9(4), 371-393.

Based on information collected by the 2001 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, study investigate the factors associated with underemployment (part-time employed who would like to work more hours). Study examines the effects of a wide range of personal and social characteristics as well as labour market conditions. Findings from this study show that underemployment has many predictors in common with unemployment, but also a number of significant differences.
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