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How well does education travel? Education and occupation with and without migration

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  • August Gächter
  • Stefanie Smoliner
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    Abstract

    Using the Labour Force Survey (LFS) we explore the difference international migration makes for the distribution of occupational levels for any given level of education in the two countries of interest: Austria and Germany. Migrant outcomes are also being compared with home country outcomes, i.e. Serbia and Turkey. We find that education is imperfectly portable across national borders. Austrian employers treat schooling from certain countries of origin differently from the way they treat schooling from natives. Educational levels completed in Western European countries are obviously more transferable across national borders than educational levels completed elsewhere. Workers in their home country all have similar occupational returns to education but migrants in Austria or Germany lag considerably behind. Middle and higher education in particular are not equally rewarded if from abroad. The low value of foreign-acquired education may reflect discrimination, differences in school quality across continents of origin, imperfect knowledge of the evaluation of foreign credentials on the side of the employer or the low compatibility of the foreign-acquired education with the requirements and the specific orientation of the host country labour market.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by FIW in its series FIW Research Reports series with number II-010.

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    Length: 85
    Date of creation: Jul 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wsr:ecbook:2010:i:ii-010

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    Postal: FIW Project Office Austrian Institute of Economic Research Arsenal Objekt 20 A-1030 Vienna
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    Related research

    Keywords: occupation; education; migration; labour force survey; Hauser-Warren score;

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    1. Sanromá, Esteban & Ramos, Raul & Simón, Hipólito, 2008. "The Portability of Human Capital and Immigrant Assimilation: Evidence for Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 3649, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Michael Ransom & Ronald L. Oaxaca, 2005. "Intrafirm mobility and sex differences in pay," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(2), pages 219-237, January.
    3. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    4. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2010. "Educational Mismatch: Are High-Skilled Immigrants Really Working at High-Skilled Jobs and the Price They Pay if They Aren’t?," SULCIS Working Papers 2010:7, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
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    6. Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina & Ozden, Caglar, 2005. "Brain waste? Educated immigrants in the U.S. labor market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3581, The World Bank.
    7. Pieter Bevelander & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2001. "Declining employment success of immigrant males in Sweden: Observed or unobserved characteristics?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 455-471.
    8. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2005. "Why Is the Payoff to Schooling Smaller for Immigrants?," IZA Discussion Papers 1731, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Schmidt, Christoph M., 1997. "Immigrant performance in Germany: Labor earnings of ethnic German migrants and foreign guest-workers," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 379-397.
    10. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2007. "The International Transferability of Immigrants’ Human Capital Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 2670, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, . "The Earnings of First and Second Generation Immigrants in England; An Investigation Using the Quarterly Labour Force Survey," Discussion Papers in Economics 96/7, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
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