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The international transferability of immigrants' human capital

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  • Chiswick, Barry R.
  • Miller, Paul W.

Abstract

This paper uses the approach in the under/over education literature to analyze the extent of matching of educational level to occupational attainment among adult native born and foreign born men in the US, using the 2000 Census. Overeducation is found to be more common among recent labor market entrants, while undereducation is more likely among older workers. Among immigrants, greater pre-immigration labor market experience is associated with poorer job matches, presumably due to the less-than-perfect international transferability of foreign experience. A longer duration in the US, however, is associated with a lower probability of being overeducated and a greater probability of being undereducated. This is consistent with immigrants being favorably selected for occupational advancement but this effect becomes realized only after overcoming the disadvantages of the less-than-perfect international transferability of their pre-immigration skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2009. "The international transferability of immigrants' human capital," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 162-169, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:162-169
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barry Chiswick & Paul Miller, 2010. "Occupational language requirements and the value of English in the US labor market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 353-372, January.
    2. Hartog, Joop, 2000. "Over-education and earnings: where are we, where should we go?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 131-147, April.
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    6. Kiker, B. F. & Santos, Maria C. & de Oliveira, M. Mendes, 1997. "Overeducation and undereducation: Evidence for Portugal," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 111-125, April.
    7. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
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