Overqualification of Russian Employees:
Scale, Determinants, Consequences

Varshavskaya E.Ya.

Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Prof., Department of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management, Graduate School of Business, HSE University, Moscow, Russia evarshavskaya@hse.ru

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250016075-5
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For citation:

Varshavskaya E.Ya. Overqualification of Russian Employees: Scale, Determinants, Consequences. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 11. P. 37-48


Overqualification is a unique form of underemployment, which represents a state where the employee’s abilities, knowledge, skills and/or experience exceed job requirements and are not utilized on the job. The aim of the research is to assess the scale of the excessive qualification mismatch among Russian workers, to ascertain its determinants and the impact on potential turnover and job satisfaction. The empirical basis of the work is the microdata of the Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions of the Population conducted by Rosstat in 2018. The measurement of qualificationmismatch is based on the direct self-assessment by the respondents. About half of Russian workers believe they are overskilled. The regression analysis showed that the most significant determinant of overqualification is the level of education. Higher education increases the likelihood of overqualification. Working in the informal sector, poor working conditions, overeducation, and field of study mismatch increase the likelihood that the worker will consider him(her)self overskilled. It has been proven that overqualification is a significant predictor of labor behavior. The likelihood of finding a new, more suitable job is higher among those workers who assess their qualifications as excessive. Overqualification has a negative impact on job satisfaction, reducing the likelihood of being satisfied and increasing the risks of dissatisfaction.

qualification mismatch; overqualification; potential turnover; job satisfaction


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