- A skill mismatch for migrant workers? Evidence from WageIndicator survey data
- Book title
- EU labour migration in troubled times: skills mismatch, return and policy responses
- Pages (from-to)
- Farnham: Ashgate
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS)
Are overeducation and undereducation more common among migrants compared to domestic workers? If so, are overeducation and undereducation similar across migrants from various home countries and across various host countries? This chapter is aimed at unravelling the incidence of skill mismatch, defined as the situation in which workers occupy jobs for which lower or higher skill levels are required compared to their current educational level. We focus on the skill mismatch of domestic and migrant workers employed in 13 countries of the European Union, namely Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Due to data limitations countries such as Austria, Germany and Ireland could not be included, although in the recent past they have attracted a substantial number of migrants. Migrants are defined as workers not born in the country where they are currently living. In the sample they originate from more than 200 countries, thereby reflecting a heterogeneous group, ranging from those who have migrated for economic reasons and refugees, to expats, intercultural married couples and others.
Theoretically based assumptions are used to try to explain overeducation on the basis of educational attainments and job levels. The analyses show, not surprisingly, that the higher the individual’s level of education, the more overeducation can be expected and the higher the individual’s job level, the less overeducation can be expected. Controls for firm size and industry reveal that overeducation occurs more often in small firms compared to large firms and more often in trade, transport and hospitality compared to the public sector. Recent labour market entrants, workers with a job on the side and female workers are more likely to be overqualified. A lack of transparency of credentials is assumed to increase the incidence of overeducation. Migrant workers who arrived in the host country at an adult age indeed are more likely to be characterised by overeducation. Employer discrimination is assumed to increase the incidence of overeducation. Indeed, first and second generation migrants and ethnic minorities are prone to labour market discrimination and this in turn increases the likelihood of overqualification.
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