How Useful is the Concept of Skills Mismatch?

32 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2017

See all articles by Seamus McGuinness

Seamus McGuinness

Economic and Social Research Institute, Ireland

Konstantinos Pouliakas

Cedefop; University of Aberdeen - Business School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Paul Redmond

National University of Ireland, Maynooth (Maynooth University)

Abstract

The term skill mismatch is very broad and can relate to many forms of labour market friction, including vertical mismatch, skill gaps, skill shortages, field of study (horizontal) mismatch and skill obsolescence. In this paper we provide a clear overview of each concept and discuss the measurement and inter-relatedness of different forms of mismatch. We present a comprehensive analysis of the current position of the literature on skills mismatch and highlight areas which are relatively underdeveloped and may warrant further research.Using data from the European Skills and Jobs Survey, we assess the incidence of various combinations of skills mismatch across the EU. Finally, we review the European Commission's country specific recommendations and find that skills mismatch, when referring to underutilised human capital in the form of overeducation and skills underutilisation, receives little policy attention. In cases where skills mismatch forms part of policy recommendations, the policy advice is either vague or addresses the areas of mismatch for which there is the least available evidence.

Keywords: skill mismatch, overeducation, skill shortages, skill gaps, European skills and jobs survey, policy

JEL Classification: J24, I20, I28

Suggested Citation

McGuinness, Seamus and Pouliakas, Konstantinos and Redmond, Paul, How Useful is the Concept of Skills Mismatch?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10786, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2979934

Seamus McGuinness (Contact Author)

Economic and Social Research Institute, Ireland ( email )

Dublin 4
Ireland

HOME PAGE: http://www.esri.ie/about_us/staff/view_all_staff/view/index.xml?id=1040

Konstantinos Pouliakas

Cedefop ( email )

PO Box 22427
Finikas (Thessaloniki), 55102
Greece

University of Aberdeen - Business School ( email )

Edward Wright Building
Dunbar Street
Aberdeen, Scotland AB24 3QY
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Paul Redmond

National University of Ireland, Maynooth (Maynooth University) ( email )

2nd Floor
Iontas Building
Maynooth, County Kildare W23 F2H6
Ireland

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