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Foreign university graduates in the Greek labour market: Employment, salaries and overeducation


  • Theodore P. Lianos

    (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece)

  • D. Asteriou

    (City University, UK)

  • G.M. Agiomirgianakis


Greece is ranked among the first countries of the world in terms of student migration, while compared with other EU countries Greece has the highest number of students studying in other member states. Although the issue of migrating Greek students is constantly analysed in the newspapers, and often in relation to the educational policy adopted in Greece, 1 most of the academic literature (Kanellopoulos and Psacharopoulos, 1997) is focused either on the cost side of this phenomenon in terms of expenditure and its implications for the balance of payments or on the loss of brains (Brain Drain) when the best students remain abroad. So far, to the best of our knowledge, no research effort has been devoted to examining how well these students perform in the Greek labour market when they return home after completion of their studies. More specifically, in this paper we examine the performance of foreign university graduates with respect to three aspects: (a) the length of time between the completion of their studies and employment; (b) the extent to which these graduates are employed in professions for which they studied; and (c) the extent to which they are overqualified in the performance of the job which they hold. Our findings suggest that (i) EU graduates are better placed in the Greek labour market, from an employability point of view, compared with graduates from all other countries and also get higher salaries compared with those who have been educated elsewhere, and particularly those educated in the Balkan countries; (ii) factors leading to higher returns after graduation are previous work experience, whether the graduate had worked systematically in the past and also if their qualification is at MSc|MA level or higher. Moreover, graduates perceiving that their qualifications are higher than their job requirements are getting higher returns; (iii) graduates with parents having a university qualification do not consider themselves as overqualified. This probably indicates that the perception of being overeducated or not is based to some degree on past family achievements and consequently one's decision to undertake studies, and the level of these studies, is taken on family, social and cultural grounds; (iv) overeducation does not place graduates in a better position from the point of view of employability, however, overeducated graduates do have higher salaries. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore P. Lianos & D. Asteriou & G.M. Agiomirgianakis, 2004. "Foreign university graduates in the Greek labour market: Employment, salaries and overeducation," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(2), pages 151-164.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijf:ijfiec:v:9:y:2004:i:2:p:151-164
    DOI: 10.1002/ijfe.238

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allen, Jim & van der Velden, Rolf, 2001. "Educational Mismatches versus Skill Mismatches: Effects on Wages, Job Satisfaction, and On-the-Job Search," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 434-452, July.
    2. McGoldrick, KimMarie & Robst, John, 1996. "Gender Differences in Overeducation: A Test of the Theory of Differential Overqualification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 280-284, May.
    3. Dolton, Peter & Vignoles, Anna, 2000. "The incidence and effects of overeducation in the U.K. graduate labour market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 179-198, April.
    4. Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. ""Overeducation" in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 101-122, April.
    5. H. Battu & C. R. Belfield & P. J. Sloane, 1999. "Overeducation Among Graduates: a cohort view," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 21-38.
    6. Dolton, Peter & Silles, Mary, 2001. "Over education in the graduate labour market: some evidence from alumni data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19546, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Hersch, Joni, 1991. "Education Match and Job Match," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 140-144, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. TAKENAKA Ayumi & ISHIDA Kenji & NAKAMURO Makiko, 2012. "Negative Assimilation: How Immigrants Experience Economic Mobility in Japan," ESRI Discussion paper series 293, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. Theo Sparreboom & Alexander Tarvid, 2016. "Imbalanced Job Polarization and Skills Mismatch in Europe," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 49(1), pages 15-42, July.
    3. Jacek Liwiński, 2016. "Does it pay to study abroad? Evidence from Poland," Working Papers 2016-25, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    4. Baruch, Yehuda & Budhwar, Pawan S. & Khatri, Naresh, 2007. "Brain drain: Inclination to stay abroad after studies," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 99-112, March.
    5. Ayumi Takenaka & Makiko Nakamuro & Kenji Ishida, 2016. "Negative Assimilation: How Immigrants Experience Economic Mobility in Japan," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 506-533, June.
    6. Livanos, Ilias & Pouliakas, Konstantinos, 2009. "The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in an Occupationally Segregated EU Country," IZA Discussion Papers 4636, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Livanos, Ilias, 2008. "The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in Greece," MPRA Paper 14168, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Mar 2009.

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