Is Over-Education a Temporary Phenomenon?

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This Discussion Paper has been presented as a part of the workshop called The Social-Economic Situation of Middle East Youth on the Eve of the Arab Spring, hosted on December 8 - 9th, 2012 at the American University in Beirut. This work analyzes the phenomenon of normative over-education in the case of Tunisian higher education graduate cohort 2004. This analysis is carried out with higher education graduate survey realized jointly by the Tunisian ministry of vocational training and employment and the World Bank. Two interrogations are presented in the survey. The first is realized 18 months after leaving higher education system and the second 3 years after. The results of the first investigation are used in probit model to study the extent of the phenomenon of over-education at the first recruiting. The second interrogation is used to study the over-education time horizon. The over-education determinants are conveyed through three axes: biographical data, characteristic of the formation and those of the obtained job. The characteristics of employment present more significant effects on the probability of over-education than those of the formation. Among characteristics one considers the stability of employment, the branch of industry and the nature of employment (public/private). The obtained results show that there is a diplomas hierarchy vis-a-vis the risk of over-education which confirms Thurow job competition theory. The most abundant diplomas on the market of work are not only victims of unemployment but also the most exposed to the risk of over-education. To complete this analysis we integrate the disciplines effect and shown that graduates of discipline receiving the mass are more exposed to the risk of over-education. Probit estimation results using the second interrogation show that the certification does not have any effect on the probability of over-education. Only the stability of employment presents a significant effect on the work condition improvement of Tunisian higher education graduates initially over-educated. To bring more precision we chose a multiple components analysis.


Nadia Zrelli Ben Hamida

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