Rewards to skill supply, skill demand and skill match-mismatch: Studies using the Adult Literacy and Lifeskills survey

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


This thesis is a collection of three independent but closely related studies. The focus is on the potential causes of skill mismatch, the extent of skill mismatch, the socio-demographic make-up of skill mismatch, and the consequences of skill mismatch in terms of earnings as well as employer sponsored adult education/training. A distinction is made between skill mismatch and education mismatch. All three studies use data from the Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALLS) to investigate the relationships between select outcomes and skill supply-demand characteristics as well as their interactions which materialize into skill match-mismatch situations. The dataset contains direct measures of literacy skills as well as measures of the use of these skills at work which allow for a direct measure of literacy match-mismatch. The analysis points to the complex ways in which mismatch is generated and the need for an accurate and up to date measure of mismatch, one that reflects the possibilities for skill gain and skill loss over the lifespan, and reflects differences in the quality of qualifications. It also emphasizes that addressing mismatch requires a careful consideration of both the demand and supply sides of the labour market, so as to understand better the variety of factors which may have a negative impact on the effectiveness of skill formation, skill maintenance, and also skill use. Among the key findings: Skill demand characteristics appear to be as important as skill supply characteristics in explaining observed variation in earnings. There is a substantive association between the requirement to read at work and earnings, which is independent of whether individuals have high or low levels of literacy proficiency. Premiums associated with literacy skills are strongest in occupation types where they are most relevant, but premiums associated with the requirement to use those skills are nevertheless found to be strong within all occupational groups. The requirement to read at work seems to have a strong association with the incidence of participation in employer supported adult education/training. This has important implications for understanding better the relationship between how work is organized and the decision to further invest in human capital.


  • Richard Desjardins
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics
  • Economics and Business


  • skill mismatch, Education mismatch, overeducation, skill use, adult literacy, adult education, segmentation theory
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2014 Mar 28
  • Department of Economics, Lund Universtiy
Print ISBNs978-91-7473-876-6 (print), 978-91-7473-877-3 (pdf)
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2014-03-28 Time: 10:00 Place: School of Economics and Management Room EC3-210 External reviewer(s) Name: Hartog, Joop Title: Professor Affiliation: University of Amsterdam ---

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