Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Germany
Women’s labor market participation has been rising in the last years, the proportion of female university graduates increases constantly and ever more women are in executive positions. However, there is also evidence that women are more likely to be overeducated then men. If a person is overeducated, in the sense that an employee’s level of training exceeds the job requirements, parts of the human capital lie idle. This could not only have negative consequences on the individual level, but also be costly on the social level. Current research on overeducation focuses on individual explanatory factors, which are limited to only one determinant - such as gender or migration status. But in light of economical, political and cultural globalization that increases societal heterogeneity, it is obvious that the emergence and reproduction of social inequalities cannot be reduced to only one dimension. In the study of social inequalities it is important to consider that people are always part of several social groups at the same time. In the presentation I will focus on this research gap. Based on the concept of intersectionality I will discuss the mechanisms of interaction of gender, migration status and social background in the context of overeducation theoretically. Using data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) I show the effect of gender on the risk of being overeducated as itself and in interaction with the other individual characteristics. I will respond to the question how gender inequality on overeducation varies with other social categories.