2 October, 2023

Maastricht University

Event Title

Are immigrant workers in developed nations relegated to labour market positions that are beneath their qualification and skill level? This paper uses newly available data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) to examine immigrant economic incorporation in 13 European nations.

Our analyses show that immigrants in Europe are significantly more likely than natives to hold educational qualifications above those necessary for their job, yet immigrants are significantly less likely to be in jobs that underutilize their cognitive skills. Among workers in the highest cognitive proficiency levels, however, we find no differences between immigrants and natives in predicted overeducation.

Therefore, the observed discrepancy between qualifications held and qualifications required for the job are more likely to indicate ‘apparent’ qualification mismatch rather than `real’ qualification mismatch among immigrants as compared to the native population. Based on our findings, we conclude that differences in educational quality, language proficiency, and the imperfect transferability of skills contribute to high rates of overeducation among immigrants.

09:00 – 18:00
Education Lab Netherlands
Maastricht University
School of Business and Economics
P.O. Box 616
6200 MD Maastricht
The Netherlands

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