PIAAC-Leibniz-network - Modul "Mismatch in the Labor Market"


Education and skill mismatch can be seen as major problems of modern labor markets. Both phenomena represent a discrepancy between workers’ education and job requirements. While educational mismatch, or qualification mismatch, refers to formal qualifications, skill mismatch concerns the actual skills possessed by the worker (and required by the workplace).

The first step of the analysis is based on PIAAC 2011/12 data (OECD) and examines the individual and institutional determinants of overeducation in Europe, in the light of the recent economic crisis. The project investigates cross-country differences in the incidence of substantial overeducation – that is, having a higher qualification than one’s job requires – by explicitly taking into account the role of the unstable labor market situations in the emergence and the persistence of the phenomenon in some countries. While previous research on overeducation has mainly focused on graduates and labor market entrants, we consider both medium and highly educated individuals and focus on prime-age workers. The second step takes on a longitudinal perspective and analyzes the socio-economic conditions individuals in Germany face related to the experience of educational mismatches in their career by making use of both PIAAC 2011/12 and the German PIAAC-Longitudinal study (PIAAC L).

With PIAAC 2011/2012, a first attempt was made to measure skill mismatch in addition to educational mismatch. However, the skill mismatch measure implemented has methodological issues. It is based on a subjective measure that classifies only 3 % of the German workers as well-matched, i.e., possessing the skills required by their workplace. So far, there is no well-established measure of skill mismatch. Our project partner at GESIS, Anja Perry is developing an improved skill mismatch measure which will be tested in the PIAAC-L study.

The project is part of the PIAAC Leibniz-Netzwork.