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The Over-Education of UK Immigrants: Evidence from the Labour Force Survey

  • Joanne Kathryn Lindley

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

  • Pamela Lenton

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

We investigate the incidence of over-education, as well as the effect on earnings, for immigrants and natives drawn from the Labour Force Survey between 1993 and 2003. This paper investigates whether immigrants are more or less likely to be over and under-educated than are natives and if there is any evidence of economic assimilation in such propensity differences. In addition we examine whether immigrants exhibit a larger or smaller earnings for over-education compared to natives. We find that native born non-whites and immigrants are more likely to be over-educated, even after conditioning on all other socio-economic factors (including ethnicity and English speaking country of origin). However, we also find evidence of assimilation in the incidence of immigrant over-education towards that of natives. Finally, we find that over-education implies a lower return to earnings for immigrants and non-white natives, compared to native born whites. The largest loss in earnings due to over-education actually applies to white education entrants, moreover we find no significant return to over-education for non-white labour market entrants, once we distinguish between these two immigrant groups.

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Paper provided by The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2006001.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision: Jan 2006
Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2006001
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  1. Bell, Brian D, 1997. "The Performance of Immigrants in the United Kingdom: Evidence from the GHS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 333-44, March.
  2. 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.
  3. Battu, Harminder & Sloane, Peter J., 2002. "Overeducation and Ethnic Minorities in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 650, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Rachel M. Friedberg, 1996. "You Can't Take It With You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 5837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ken Clark & Joanne Kathryn Lindley, 2005. "Immigrant Labour Market Assimilation and Arrival Effects: Evidence from the Labour Force Survey," Working Papers 2005004, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2005.
  6. Dearden, Lorraine, 1999. "The effects of families and ability on men's education and earnings in Britain1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 551-567, November.
  7. D.H. Blackaby & D.G. Leslie & P.D. Murphy, 2002. "White-ethnic minority earnings and employment differentials in Britain: evidence from the LFS," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 270-297, April.
  8. P. J. Sloane & H. Battu & P. T. Seaman, 1999. "Overeducation, undereducation and the British labour market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(11), pages 1437-1453.
  9. Lorraine Dearden, 1999. "Qualifications and earnings in Britain: how reliable are conventional OLS estimates of the returns to education?," IFS Working Papers W99/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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