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Educational Mismatch: Are High-Skilled Immigrants Really Working at High-Skilled Jobs and the Price They Pay If They Aren't?

Barry Chiswick and Paul Miller

No 4280, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

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: earnings; schooling; immigrants; rates of return; skill; occupations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 I21 J24 J31 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 55 pages
Date: 2009-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-hrm, nep-lab, nep-ltv and nep-mig
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (21)

Published - published in: Barry R. Chiswick (ed.), High Skilled Immigration in a Global Labor Market, Washington D.C.: American Enterprise Institute Press, 2010, 111-154

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Working Paper: Educational Mismatch: Are High-Skilled Immigrants Really Working at High-Skilled Jobs and the Price They Pay if They Aren’t? (2010) Downloads
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