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The International Transferability of Immigrants’ Human Capital Skills

Author

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  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    () (George Washington University)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

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 U.S., using the 2000 Census. Overeducation is found to be more common among recent labor market entrants, while undereducation is more likely among older workers. Married men, veterans and those living in metropolitan areas are also more likely to be overeducated. Among immigrants, greater pre-immigration labor market experience is associated with poorer job matches, presumably due to the less than perfect international transferability of skills. A longer duration in the U.S., 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., 2007. "The International Transferability of Immigrants’ Human Capital Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 2670, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2670
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Mariya Aleksynska & Giovanni Peri, 2014. "Isolating the Network Effect of Immigrants on Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 434-455, March.
    2. Peter Huber, 2012. "Do commuters suffer from job--education mismatch?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 349-352, March.
    3. Klaus Nowotny, 2011. "Welfare Magnets, Taxation and the Location Decisions of Migrants to the EU," WIFO Working Papers 393, WIFO.
    4. Sanromá, Esteban & Ramos, Raul & Simón, Hipólito, 2009. "Immigrant Wages in the Spanish Labour Market: Does the Origin of Human Capital Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 4157, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Altorjai, Szilvia, 2013. "Over-qualification of immigrants in the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-11, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    6. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2009. "Educational Mismatch: Are High-Skilled Immigrants Really Working at High-Skilled Jobs and the Price They Pay If They Aren't?," IZA Discussion Papers 4280, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. 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.
    8. Pablo Swedberg & Santiago Budria, 2015. "Education and earnings: how immigrants perform across the earnings distribution in Spain," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 10,in: Marta Rahona López & Jennifer Graves (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 10, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 42, pages 829-842 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    9. 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.
    10. Brahim Boudarbat & Claude Montmarquette, 2013. "Origine et sources de la surqualification dans la région métropolitaine de Montréal," CIRANO Project Reports 2013rp-08, CIRANO.
    11. August Gächter & Stefanie Smoliner, 2010. "How well does education travel? Education and occupation with and without migration," FIW Research Reports series II-010, FIW.
    12. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz, 2011. "Migration and Education," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1105, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    13. Boudarbat, Brahim & Chernoff, Victor, 2009. "The Determinants of Education-Job Match among Canadian University Graduates," IZA Discussion Papers 4513, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht, 2011. "Migration and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    15. 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).
    16. Klaus Prettner & Alfred Stiglbauer, 2007. "Effects of the Full Opening of the Austrian Labor Market to EU-8 Citizens," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 50-66.
    17. Matloob Piracha & Massimiliano Tani & Florin Vadean, 2012. "Immigrant over- and under-education: the role of home country labour market experience," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), pages 1-21.
    18. Michel Beine & Sara Salomone, 2010. "Migration and Networks: Does Education Matter more than Gender?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3010, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Alisher Aldashev & Johannes Gernandt & Stephan L. Thomsen, 2008. "The Immigrant Wage Gap in Germany," FEMM Working Papers 08019, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    20. Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "Does immigration policy affect the education--occupation mismatch? Evidence from Australia," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 38(2), pages 111-141.
    21. Aldashev Alisher & Gernandt Johannes & Thomsen Stephan L., 2012. "The Immigrant-Native Wage Gap in Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(5), pages 490-517, October.
    22. Budría, Santiago & Swedberg, Pablo & Fonseca, Marlene, 2016. "Returns to Schooling among Immigrants in Spain: A Quantile Regression Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 10064, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; occupational attainment; immigrants;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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