There are several ways to measure every type of mismatch. Surveys can ask respondents about their own appraisalof potential mismatch (subjective measures), or compare a respondent to what is common in his or her country (statistical approach) or to what is appropriate (normative approach). Each type of measure has its advantages anddisadvantages.
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Qualifications mismatch arises when workers have an educational attainment that is higher or lower than thatrequired by their job. If their qualification level is higher than that required by their job, workers are classified asoverqualified; if the opposite is true, they are classified as underqualified. In the Survey of Adult Skills, workersare asked what would be the usual qualifications, if any, “that someone would need to get (their) type of job ifapplying today”. The answer to this question is used as each worker’s qualification requirements and comparedto their actual qualifications to identify mismatch. While biased by individual perceptions and period or cohorteffects, self-reported qualification requirements along these lines have the advantage of being job-specific ratherthan assuming that all jobs with the same occupational code require the same level of qualifications.
Skills mismatch arises when workers have higher or lower skills proficiency than that required by their job. If theirskills proficiency is higher than that required by their job, workers are classified as overskilled; if the opposite istrue, they are classified as underskilled. For the purpose of this chapter, skill requirements at work, the key term inthe measurement of skills mismatch, are derived following Pellizzari and Fichen (2013). Though a robust measure,it does not measure mismatch on all possible domains as it focuses on information-processing skills (for otherapproaches to measuring skills mismatch, see Perry, Wiederhold and Ackermann-PIek, 2014).
Field-of-study mismatch arises when workers are employed in a different field from that in which they havespecialised. The matching is based on a list of occupations (at the 3-digit ISCO classification) that are consideredas an appropriate match for each field of study. Workers who are not employed in an occupation that is considereda good match for their field are counted as mismatched. The list of fields and occupations used in this chapter canbe found in Annex 5 of the OECD Employment Outlook 2014 (OECD, 2014b). The list is largely based on thatdeveloped by Wolbers (2003) but has been adapted to the ISCO08 classification (Montt, 2015).