Social Indicators Research

, Volume 138, Issue 1, pp 109–139 | Cite as

Overeducation of Young Workers in Spain: How Much Does the First Job Matter? Social Indicators Research

  • Juan Acosta-BallesterosEmail author
  • María del Pilar Osorno-del Rosal
  • Olga María Rodríguez-Rodríguez


This article contributes to recent overeducation literature on the impact of an initial education mismatch on workers’ future careers. Specifically, using the 2009 ad-hoc module of the Spanish Labour Force Survey, we quantify the differences in the probability of overeducation depending on the quality of individuals’ first match. To do this, we apply an extension of the recursive bivariate probit model, which allows potential endogeneity problems to be taken into account, as well as a dissimilar impact of the initial match for workers with different educational attainment. The results indicate that overeducation is a trap, since young workers who were mismatched in their first job are 40.2 percentage points more likely to be overeducated in a later one than those who were not. When decomposing this difference in two parts, one related to the pure effect of the initial mismatch and another one related to workers’ characteristics, we conclude that the pure effect is more important, and it depends on educational attainment.


Educational attainment Overeducation Persistence Young workers Spain Recursive bivariate probit 

JEL Classification

I21 J24 



We thank two anonymous referees for their insightful comments and suggestions, which have helped to improve this article considerably.


This paper was supported by Plan Propio de Investigación de la Universidad de La Laguna [1075/2015].


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Economía, Contabilidad y FinanzasUniversidad de La Laguna (ULL)La LagunaSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de Economía, Empresa y TurismoUniversidad de La Laguna (ULL)La LagunaSpain

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