Job-mismatch of highqualified migrants - a comparing multilevel approach of "brain waste" in Europe"

Overqualification occurs when the required competences of a job are less than the indivudals’ qualifications. At the individual level, over-qualification leads to lower productivity and job satisfaction as well as an increasing turnover rate (Tsang, 1991). Wage analyses show that overqualified indivudals earn less than individuals with a perfect match, but more than individuals with equal education in a perfect match (Bauer, 2002; Daly et al., 2000; Hartog, 2000). Job mismatches affect the entire career and reduce the likelihood of a perfect match in the long term (Voßemer & Schuck, 2016). Empirically, there is a higher proportion of overqualified migrants in several countries (Aleksynska & Tritah, 2013), as well as a greater wage penalty for migrants compared to natives (Joona, Gubpta & Wadensjö, 2014; Larsen, Rogne & Birkelund, 2018; Nielsen, 2011).

In macroeconomic terms, job mismatches are misallocations of resources. The unused resources and the resulting inefficient labor market worsen a country's competitiveness and long-term economic growth (Boll, Leppin & Schömann, 2016).
Both the demographic change and the shortage of skilled labor require the targeted use of foreign skilled workers. The development of European and other industrialized countries into knowledge-based economies increases the demand of highly skilled individuals. Nevertheless, the large supply of educated individuals cannot always balance the increasing demand (Cema & Czaika, 2016).

Migration of highly qualified people has advantages and disadvantages for the country of immigration as well as for the country of origin. Immigration countries benefit from productive individuals, for which they did not have to spend any educational costs. On the one hand, the countries of origin are losing skilled employees when other labor markets have better opportunities and more attractive working conditions (Galan & Agasisti, 2014). On the other hand, migration also leads to benefits for the countries of origin, such as financial support though remittances.

In explaining mismatch of highly skilled migrants, several levels need to be considered. The project therefore distinguishes between effects on the micro, meso and macro levels. Above all, individual factors should be analyzed at the micro level. Based on the segmentation theory of Piore (1979), at the meso level various sectors and work areas will be investigated. Finally, the macro level takes economic components of the immigration country into account.

The aim of the project is to investigate to what extent and how highly qualified migrants in Europe are overqualified. The analysis of highly qualified migrants fills a previous research gap in the area of job mismatch and is highly relevant due to the increasing expansion of education in Europe. In addition to the scientific contribution, the findings of the research within the project are to be used to derive targeted implications for society and migration policy in order to avoid macro-economic misallocation of important resources and to individually improve the productivity and satisfaction of highly qualified migrants.This in turn is a prerequisite for the successful and long-term integration of migrants in the labor market.

Project employees:
Prof. Dr. Céline Teney
Saskia Bettzüche

Student assistants
Li Kathrin Rupiper
Lisa Gutwoski