Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research

No 2022/2: Foreign graduates in Sweden. The role of high tech sectors, STEM disciplines and cultural distance.

Claudio Fassio () and Ioana Igna ()
Additional contact information
Claudio Fassio: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Ioana Igna: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: This paper analyzes the career paths of foreign students in Sweden, after graduation. Matching individual data on foreign graduates in Sweden with information about their employers, we analyze the sectors in which they start their career after graduation in Sweden, during the period 2000-2014. We propose that foreign graduates are attracted by firms operating in sectors employing a higher level of knowledge codification and in expanding sectors with a higher growth of demand for skilled workers. Our findings indicate that foreign graduates are more likely than Swedish ones to work in high-tech sectors, both in manufacturing and services, and in expanding industries, such as the services with low knowledge intensity. Foreign students from more culturally distant locations are more likely to work in high-tech or in expanding sectors. Finally, STEM foreign graduates are the main driver of the propensity to work in high tech manufacturing sectors, but not in high tech services.

Keywords: foreign graduates; STEM; cultural distance; high tech; occupations

JEL-codes: J20; O39

Language: English

45 pages, March 2, 2021

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