Educational mismatches for second generation migrants. An analysis of applied science graduates in the Netherlands

Swantje Falcke, Christoph Meng, Romy Nollen

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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Educational mismatches, i.e. diferences between the education attained and required for a job have been found to negatively affect earnings and job satisfaction and thus lead to a lower return to education. In this paper we aim to see whether immigrants are more prone to educational mismatches and unemployment than their native counterparts. Using a cross-sectional data set among recent applied science graduates in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2014 we are able to look at a very homogeneous group where possible differences between immigrants and natives cannot be explained by differences in the quality of education or language capabilities. The results of our multinomial logit regressions suggest that an ethnic penalty in educational mismatches and unemployment exists for western as well as non-western immigrants, being more severe for non-western than western immigrants. Immigrants are less likely to be correctly matched than Dutch natives and more likely to be unemployed, where the likelihood of being unemployed is even higher for non-western immigrants. Furthermore non-western immigrants are more likely to experience a mismatch in content and level than Dutch natives.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

SeriesROA Research Memoranda

JEL classifications

  • j15 - "Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination"
  • j24 - "Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity"


  • immigrants
  • educational mismatch
  • unemployment
  • ethnic penalty


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