This paper deals with the mismatch between occupation and schooling attainment, the imbalance between occupation-specific demand for labor and schooling-level-specific labor supply. A framework for measuring the prevalence of mismatch is given, and a simple index derived from it gives plausible results and robust inferences about differentials and time trend. This approach can be applied to existing data, yields comprehensive and current social indicators, and can be used with a minimum number of assumptions. Trends for the U.S. labor force over the 1969–1980 interval are examined. Results show that there has been a dramatic and general increase in mismatch prevalence. Various demographic explanations of mismatch trends are examined.

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