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This research concentrates on Croatia with threefold aims: (1) to identify and quantify key competences developed by economics-and-business graduates; (2) to assess the degree of proximity between competences acquired at universities and those required on the labour market; and (3) to investigate how this proximity translates labour market outcomes for graduates. This research is based on primary data, collected through two questionnaires, one for graduates and one for firms. Key competences were identified using factor analysis. Proximity between employers-required and graduates-acquired competences were then used as covariates in explaining differences in graduates’ employability and wage premiums using standard regression model, Heckman selection model and instrumental variables approach. Results show that university education is highly skewed towards the acquisition of economics-and-business practical competences, while employers put greater emphasis on generic competences. Results also point to a penalty of having a competence gap on graduates’ probability of being employed and on their wages.
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