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Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS SULCIS Working Papers, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS

No 2010:7:
Educational Mismatch: Are High-Skilled Immigrants Really Working at High-Skilled Jobs and the Price They Pay if They Aren’t?

Barry R. Chiswick () and Paul W. Miller

Abstract: This paper examines the incidence of the mismatch of the educational attainment and the occupation of employment, and the impact of this mismatch on the earnings, of high-skilled adult male immigrants in the US labor market. Analyses for high-skilled adult male native-born workers are also presented for comparison purposes. The results show that over-education is widespread in the high-skilled US labor market, both for immigrants and the native born. The extent of over-education declines with duration in the US as high-skilled immigrants obtain jobs commensurate with their educational level. Years of schooling that are above that which is usual for a worker’s occupation are associated with very low increases in earnings. Indeed, in the first 10 to 20 years in the US years of over-education among high-skilled workers have a negative effect on earnings. This ineffective use of surplus education appears across all occupations and high-skilled education levels. Although schooling serves as a pathway to occupational attainment, earnings appear to be more closely linked to a worker’s occupation than to the individual’s level of schooling.

Keywords: Immigrants; Skill; Schooling; Occupations; Earnings; Rates of Return; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: F22; I21; J24; J31; J61; (follow links to similar papers)

55 pages, July 12, 2010

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This paper is published as:
Chiswick, Barry R. and Paul W. Miller, (2011), 'Educational Mismatch: Are High-Skilled Immigrants Really Working at High-Skilled Jobs and the Price They Pay if They Aren’t?' in Chiswick, Barry R. (ed.) High-Skilled Immigration in a Global Labor Market, pages 109-154, American Enterprise Institute.



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