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The importance of heterogeneity when examining immigrant education-occupation mismatch: evidence from New Zealand

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  • Jacques Poot

    () (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research & University of Waikato)

  • Steven Stillman

    () (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research & University of Waikato)

Abstract

Many immigrants are overqualified in their first job after arrival in the host country. Education-occupation mismatch can affect the economic integration of immigrants and the returns to education and experience. The extent of this problem has been measured in recent years by means of micro level data in Australia, North America and Europe. However, these papers have typically ignored the importance of allowing for heterogeneity, in particular by qualification level and years in the destination country. In this paper, we use micro data from the 1996, 2001 and 2006 New Zealand censuses to examine differences between each migrant's actual years of education and the estimated typical years of education in the narrowly defined occupation in which they work. We find that migrants living in New Zealand for less than 5 years are on average overeducated, while earlier migrants are on average undereducated. However, once accounting for heterogeneity, we find that both overeducated and undereducated migrants become, with increasing years of residence in New Zealand, more similar to comparable native born. Convergence from overeducation is stronger than from undereducation.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacques Poot & Steven Stillman, 2010. "The importance of heterogeneity when examining immigrant education-occupation mismatch: evidence from New Zealand," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1023, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1023
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cristina Fernández & Carolina Ortega, 2008. "Labor market assimilation of immigrants in Spain: employment at the expense of bad job-matches?," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 83-107, June.
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    3. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2008. "Why is the payoff to schooling smaller for immigrants?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1317-1340, December.
    4. Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 510-530, August.
    5. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-880, June.
    6. Lindley, Joanne, 2009. "The over-education of UK immigrants and minority ethnic groups: Evidence from the Labour Force Survey," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 80-89, February.
    7. Lewis Evans & Arthur Grimes & Bryce Wilkinson, 1996. "Economic Reform in New Zealand 1984-95: The Pursuit of Efficiency," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1856-1902, December.
    8. Papps, Kerry L. & Newell, James O., 2002. "Identifying Functional Labour Market Areas in New Zealand: A Reconnaissance Study Using Travel-to-Work Data," IZA Discussion Papers 443, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sandra Nieto & Alessia Matano & Raul Ramos, 2013. "“Skill mismatches in the EU: Immigrants vs. natives”," AQR Working Papers 201310, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Oct 2013.
    2. Jacques Poot & Bridget Daldy & Matthew Roskruge, 2013. "Perception of workplace discrimination among immigrants and native born New Zealanders," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 16(1), pages 137-154.
    3. Esteve Sanromá & Raúl Ramos & Hipólito Simón, 2015. "Portability of Human Capital and Immigrant Overeducation in Spain," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 34(2), pages 223-241, April.
    4. David C Maré & Ruth M Pinkerton & Jacques Poot, 2015. "Residential Assimilation of Immigrants: A Cohort Approach," Working Papers 15_20, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    5. Matloob Piracha & Florin Vadean, 2013. "Migrant educational mismatch and the labor market," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 9, pages 176-192 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Stuart Campbell, 2013. "Over-education among A8 migrants in the UK," DoQSS Working Papers 13-09, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    7. Julia Beckhusen & Raymond J.G.M. Florax & Jacques Poot & Brigitte S. Waldorf, 2013. "Attracting Global Talent And Then What? Overeducated Immigrants In The United States," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 834-854, December.
    8. Schwientek, Caroline, 2016. "Are immigrants overeducated in Germany? Determinants and wage effects of educational mismatch," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 07/2016, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    9. Stefan Jestl & Michael Landesmann & Sandra M. Leitner, 2015. "Migrants and Natives in EU Labour Markets: Mobility and Job-Skill Mismatch Patterns," wiiw Research Reports 403, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    10. Rob Hodgson & Jacques Poot, 2011. "New Zealand Research on the Economic Impacts of Immigration 2005-2010: Synthesis and Research Agenda," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1104, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    11. Aslan Zorlu, 2016. "Immigrants’ occupational mobility—Down and back up again," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 290-290, August.
    12. Tani, Massimiliano, 2018. "Selective Immigration, Occupational Licensing, and Labour Market Outcomes of Foreign-Trained Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 11370, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; occupation; skill transferability; job-worker mismatch; discrimination; New Zealand;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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