Seminar CRENoS DECA - Carlo Devillanova

09/05/2011 - 14:00 to 16:00


Aula Magna - Facoltà di Economia

Viale Sant'Ignazio 74 - Cagliari



Presentation of paper

Overeducation and spatial flexibility: New evidence from Italian survey data



Carlo Devillanova - Università Bocconi





This paper aims at addressing the effect of workers’ internal mobility on their probability of being overeducated. Only few studies investigate empirically the link between internal mobility and overeducation. I first argue that the theoretical framework adopted in these studies can be fruitfully enriched by including some of the suggestions derived from the literature on the international transferability of immigrants’ human capital. Accordingly, using data from Isfol Plus 2005, I perform an empirical analysis which tries to control for both selection into employment and selection into migration. The regression analysis also includes several proxies of individual’s ability and, in some robustness checks, of job characteristics. 

Results show a negative correlation between commuting time and overeducation, although the magnitude is low. This conclusion conforms to the findings of the existing literature. On the other hand, contrary to the conventional wisdom, the effect of internal migration on the education-job mismatch turns out to be unclear. Standard Ols estimates deliver a negative correlation between internal mobility and the individual’s probability of being overeducated. However, if job characteristics are added in the regression, the correlation becomes statistically not different from zero. Finally, when selection into migration is addressed, by instrumenting the actual migration decision, I find a positive effect of internal migration on overeducation. The effect is very robust to different specifications. 

From a policy perspective, it is safe to conclude that the link between internal migration and overeducation established by previous work cannot be taken as granted and that  further research is needed in order to better ground policy prescriptions.




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