Invited talk: Skills Mismatch: Concepts, Measurement and Policy Approaches
The term skills mismatch is very broad and can relate to many forms of labour market friction, including vertical mismatch, skill gaps, skill shortages, field of study (horizontal) mismatch and skill obsolescence. In this talk we provide a clear overview of each concept and discuss the measurement and inter-relatedness of different forms of mismatch. We present a comprehensive analysis of the current position of the literature on skills mismatch and highlight areas which are relatively underdeveloped and may warrant further research. Using data from the European Skills and Jobs Survey, we assess the incidence of various combinations of skills mismatch across the EU. Finally, we review the European Commission’s country specific recommendations and find that skills mismatch, when referring to underutilised human capital in the form of overeducation and skills underutilisation, receives little policy attention. In cases where skills mismatch forms part of policy recommendations, the policy advice is either vague or addresses the areas of mismatch for which there is the least available evidence.
Seamus McGuinness is a Research Professor and the Research Area Co-ordinator for labour market research at the Economic and Social Research Institute Dublin. Prior to joining the Institute, he held posts at Queens University Belfast, the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre and the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic & Social Research (University of Melbourne). He obtained his PhD in Economics from Queens University Belfast in 2003. Most of his published research has been in the areas of labour economics and the economics of education. Seamus is also a research fellow in the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) based in the University of Bonn and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Economics in Trinity College Dublin. He is the designated expert on the Irish labour market in the European Commission’s European Employment Policy Observatory (EEPO). In addition to undertaking research for a wide-range of government agencies in Ireland, the UK and Australia, he has also acted as a consultant to major international organisations such as the OECD, CEDEFOP, the ILO and the Asian Development Bank.