Directions for Future Underemployment Research: Measurement and Practice

  • Douglas C. Maynard


The last decade has seen noticeable growth in research on the underemployment phenomenon – when an individual is employed in some way that is insufficient relative to some standard – and the problems associated with it. This research comes from a variety of areas, most notably economics, sociology, and the organizational sciences (i.e., industrial-organizational psychology and management). For example, the academic database PsycINFO returned 97 sources with the underemployment keyword between the years 2000 and 2009, up 76% from the previous 10-year span. Very recently, economic woes in most developed nations and across the globe have also brought underemployment into public consciousness. Various media outlets continue to give attention to overqualification and related problems of insufficient employment (e.g., Hemming, 2010; Korkki, 2010; Luo, March 2010; Reingold, February 2009; Schieffer & Besner, 2009). This increased interest from both scholars and the popular press is notable in that, until recently, the underemployment problem has been overshadowed by the unemployment problem (Dooley, Prause, & Ham-Rowbottom, 2000; Feldman, 1996), especially in the media.


Institutional responses Measurement Methodology Overqualification Underemployment Volition 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyState University of New York at New PaltzNew PaltzUSA

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