Higher education and labour market dynamics in crisis, a European comparative study

  • Theocharis Kromydas

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


From the end of 2007 onwards, Europe has seen the most prolonged recession on its history and the effect of educational attainment on certain labour market outcomes, such as employability and wage levels, which was previously seen as prominent, or even causal, becomes difficult to interpret. Likewise, there are also implications on other relevant outcomes, such as job mismatch and quality, where literature seems, rather conflicting. Empirically, this thesis investigates the relationship between educational attainment, and labour market in nineteen European countries, using both individual and country-level data. The focus is on the impact of educational attainment, on employability, job quality, wages and job mismatch. This analysis, is anticipated to contribute to the academic debate in labour economics by examining this impact across Europe, taking into account the economic climate in pre (2004) and during recession (2010) time periods, as well as the institutional and economic context of each labour market, which is represented by nine different country-level variables. Higher educational attainment is closely linked with employment and wage outcomes, but this is not that straightforward with job quality and mismatch, mainly due to various methodological limitations involved. Educational attainment is valued differently among countries. However, the labour market position of the low-educated were worse in 2010 comparing with 2004 in most countries, but this is not clear if it has a causal link with recession. Moreover, all countries examined have been classified by welfare state regimes, but it seems that this classification cannot explain the differences in the labour market outcomes between low- and high-educated. Finally, the country-level variables have been tested using the two-step approach. The Size of Government, Part time to Full time employment ratio and the GDP/Capita seem to be strong determinants of individual's labour market outcomes, in relation to their educational attainment. EPL Strictness, the gross enrolment in higher education and the debt to GDP ratios can also play some role, but their effect has been found significant only with job mismatch.
Date of Award21 Oct 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorRobert Wright (Supervisor) & John Swales (Supervisor)

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