Overeducation in the Korean Labor Market: Evidence from Young Workers

Sungjin Cho and Soohyung Lee , Journal of Economic Research 19(1) , 19-41 , May 2014.

This paper examines the prevalence of overeducation in Korea and its economic implications. By overeducated workers, we mean those whose educational attainment exceeds the level of education their jobs require. Analyzing a sample of young college-educated workers, we find that approximately a quarter of workers are overeducated and these overeducated workers are paid significantly less and have lower job satisfaction compared to their counterparts who are adequately educated. Furthermore, overeducated workers are less likely to be employed or to work for the same firm in a subsequent period, but more likely to experience faster wage growth than adequately educated workers.