It is often suggested in policy debates that the employment of highly educated workers in jobs traditionally held by lower skilled workers leads to skill wastage and a worsening labour market position for the less educated. This process is generally referred to as `bumping down' or `crowding out'.
This argument challenges the policy of many developed countries to attach ever greater importance to knowledge as a means to increase international competitiveness. The authors in this book provide insights into the role of education in society by investigating the extent to which these arguments of overeducation and upgrading are valid. They bring together different approaches to obtain a complete picture of the debate in economics about under-utilization of skills and bumping down.
Edited by Lex Borghans, Principal Researcher, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) and Andries de Grip, Head, Division of Labour Market and Training, ROA and Professor, Department of Economics, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Contents: Introduction 1. The Debate in Economics about Skill Utilization Part I: Underutilization or Upgrading? 2. Technology and the Demand for Skills 3. Has the Finnish Labour Market Bumped the Least Educated? 4. Are British Workers Becoming More Skilled? Part II: Causes of Underutilization 5. Overeducation and Crowding Out of Low-skilled Workers 6. Over-qualification makes Low-wage Employment Attractive 7. Overeducation and Crowding Out in Britain 8. The Effect of Bumping Down on Wages: an Empirical Test Part III: Consequences of Underutilization of Skills 9. Low Wages, Skills and the Utilization of Skills 10. Do More High-skilled Workers Occupy Simple Jobs During Bad Times? 11. Job Competition in the Dutch Labour Market Index