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Occupational mismatch of immigrants in Europe: The role of education and cognitive skills

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  • Cim, Merve
  • Kind, Michael Sebastian
  • Kleibrink, Jan

Abstract

Occupational mismatch is a wide-spread phenomenon among immigrants in many European countries. Mismatch, predominantly measured in terms of education, is often regarded as a waste of human capital. Such discussions, however, ignore the imperfect comparability of international educational degrees when comparing immigrants to natives. An accurate analysis of occupational mismatch requires looking beyond internationally incomparable educational degrees and considering more comparable skill measures. Using PIAAC data, it is possible to exploit internationally comparable cognitive skill measures to analyze the presence of mismatch disparities between immigrants and natives. This allows us to examine whether overeducation implies only an apparent phenomenon or rather a genuine overqualification observed also in the form of cognitive overskilling. In this study, we analyze differences in the incidence of being overeducated and being cognitively overskilled between immigrants and natives in 11 European countries. Results show that immigrants are more likely to be overeducated than natives, while the opposite is true for being cognitively overskilled. Furthermore, significant heterogeneity among immigrants in the incidence of overeducation and cognitive overskilling can be detected.

Suggested Citation

  • Cim, Merve & Kind, Michael Sebastian & Kleibrink, Jan, 2017. "Occupational mismatch of immigrants in Europe: The role of education and cognitive skills," Ruhr Economic Papers 687, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:687
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Occupational mismatch; migration; education; cognitive skills;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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