No Country for Graduates. Occupational over-Qualification Among Young Italians

Saturday, June 25, 2016: 9:00 AM-10:30 AM
206 Dwinelle (Dwinelle Hall)
Lara Maestripieri, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
Costanzo Ranci, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
At the basis of the European social investment strategy there is the confidence that post-industrial societies have a stronger need of qualified workers and that this will reinforce the economic sustainability of the European social model. However, Italy is a worst practice in this sense: it is one of the countries with the lowest rates of graduate among 30-34 years old and at the same time the country with one of the highest unemployment rates among them. Some scholars actually doubt that Italy will effectively benefit from the improved human capital of new generations.

Given such an unfavourable context, the paper focus on the phenomenon of over-qualification, developing an original methodological approach to the problem by comparing the occupational position of each worker with own educational level. The analysis is based on a cross-analysis between several Italian dataset, as ISTAT Italian Labour Force Survey, Excelsior Survey on Enterprises’ Requirements and ISFOL Survey on Professional Requirements.

Preliminary results show that almost 15 per cent of Italian workers experience over-qualification. While young cohorts are more exposed to the phenomenon among Italians, age is not the primary factor to explain the mismatch between educational level and occupation. In fact, this is mainly due to the characteristics of labour demand, expressed by the concentration of over-qualification in specific industries and in small-sized firms. There are therefore structural constraints to the development of a social investment strategy.