Asia Pacific Education Review

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 299–312 | Cite as

Over-education and its opportunity cost in Japan

  • Aleksander KucelEmail author
  • Ivette Fuentes Molina
  • Josep Maria Raya


In this paper, we investigate the determinants of over-education in Japan and evaluate its opportunity costs for university graduates. To this end, we use the REFLEX data. Results reveal that over-education level in Japan is high and it brings an important wage penalty for Japanese workers. Large firm and high occupations point toward a significant reduction in the likelihood of over-education. Results for wage regressions for over-education indicate that Japanese workers who achieve jobs in large organizations will experience 20 % increase in their wage due to the firm size and, if over-educated, their increase in wage will remain positive. Results for women are puzzling as there is no significant effect associated with gender.


Over-education Japan Opportunity cost Wages 


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Copyright information

© Education Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aleksander Kucel
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ivette Fuentes Molina
    • 1
  • Josep Maria Raya
    • 1
  1. 1.Escola Superior de Ciències Socials i de l’Empresa de TecnocampusUniversitat Pompeu FabraMataróSpain
  2. 2.CREBUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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