Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Educational Policy and Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Bills, David B

First Committee Member

An, Brian

Second Committee Member

Pascarella, Ernest

Third Committee Member

Grooms, Ain

Fourth Committee Member

Bruch, Sarah


Workers whose credentials and skills do not meet or exceed the required competencies for their jobs have been of interest to scholars investigating the transition from school to jobs. To understand how such mismatch arises in the transitional period, some scholars emphasize that the labor market cannot keep up with the pace of educational expansion. Thus, many highly educated workers do not find jobs that fit their schooling and skill level. Others locate the source of mismatch in the inability of education to produce enough workers with the desired skill levels in the labor market.

By focusing on this mismatch, this dissertation aims to provide a better understanding of the relationship between education and work. In particular, this study examines data covering the past two decades to see how the number of workers with skill and educational mismatch has changed and how educational expansion and transformations in the labor market have contributed to the change. The results indicate that workers with such mismatch have generally increased over the past two decades, but educational expansion has minimally contributed to this change. Rather, it is more likely caused by business cycles or job characteristics.

The study also explores how the practices applied to select suitable workers in the hiring process affects workers’ job matching. This study suggests that workers are classified into various types depending on strategies by which employers use to determine workers’ degree of fit. Subsequently, their earnings and job satisfaction vary according to workers’ membership in these types of groups.


Educational mismatch, Inequality, Job assignment, Skill mismatch, The labor market


xi, 181 pages


Includes bibliographical references.


Copyright © 2018 Dong Hoon Shin