Discussion Paper Series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 6848
Can having more education than a job requires reduce one's chances of being offered the job? We study this question in a sample of applications to jobs that are posted on an urban Chinese website. We find that being overqualified in this way does not reduce the success rates of university-educated jobseekers applying to college-level jobs, but that it does hurt college-educated workers' chances when applying to jobs requiring technical school, which involves three fewer years of education than college. Our results highlight a difficult situation faced by the recent large cohort of college-educated Chinese workers: They seem to fare poorly in the competition for jobs, both when pitted against more-educated university graduates, and when pitted against less-educated technical school graduates.