Unemployment or Overeducation: Which is a Worse Signal to Employers?
- 74 Downloads
This study estimates the stigma effect of unemployment and overeducation within one framework. We conduct a randomised field experiment in which we send out trios of fictitious job applications, from male candidates with no relevant work experience, to real vacancies. One candidate graduated just a few months before the application, the two others graduated a year earlier and had been unemployed or underemployed since that time. By monitoring the subsequent callback, we find evidence of a larger stigma effect of unemployment than overeducation. The stigma effect of overeducation is found to occur for permanent contract jobs but not for temporary ones.
KeywordsUnemployment signalling Overeducation signalling Transitions in youth
JEL ClassificationJ24 J60 C93
- Baert, S. (2018b). Hiring discrimination: An overview of (almost) all correspondence experiments since 2005. In M. Gaddis (Ed.), Audit studies: Behind the scenes with theory, method, and nuance. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Baert, S., & Balcaen, P. (2013). The impact of military work experience on later hiring chances in the civilian labour market. Evidence from a field experiment. Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, 7, e2013–e2037.Google Scholar
- CBS. (2001). Standaard Beroepenclassificatie 1992—Editie 2001. Heerlen: Central Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
- Cédiey, E., Foroni, F., & Garner, H. (2008). Discrimination à l’embauche fondée sur l’origine à l’encontre des jeunes français(e)s peu qualifié(e)s. Dares Premières Infos Premières Synthèses, 06, 3.Google Scholar
- Dolton, P., & Silles, M. (2003). The determinants and consequences of graduate overeducation. In F. Buchel, A. de Grip, & A. Mertens (Eds.), Overeducation in Europe: Current issues in theory and policy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
- Fix, M., Galster, G., & Struyk, R. (1993). An overview of auditing for discrimination. Washington: Urban Institute Press.Google Scholar
- Gerard, M., & Valsamis, D. (2015). Arbeidstekorten op de Europese arbeidsmarkt. Over. Werk, 25, 8–14.Google Scholar
- Ghayad, R. (2014). The jobless trap. New York City: Mimeo.Google Scholar
- Heckman, J. J., & Siegelman, P. (1993). The Urban Institute Audit Studies: Their methods and findings. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.Google Scholar
- Verhaest, D., & Omey, E. (2003). Overeducation in the transition from school to work: The case of Flanders. The Netherlands’ Journal of Social Sciences, 39, 202–226.Google Scholar
- Weichselbaumer, D. (2014). Testing for discrimination against lesbians of different marital status: A field experiment. Industrial Relations, 54, 131–161.Google Scholar