An Examination of the Effect of Place of Education on Job Placement: Major- Occupation (Mis)Match among U.S.- and Foreign-Educated Immigrants

Lulu Chen, University of Michigan

For many years, the finding of the overeducation of Asian Americans for economic parity had puzzled scholars of immigration and generated a wealth of research. Recently, place of education was identified as the missing link solving this paradox. While the puzzle has been solved, questions still remain, including the mechanism governing the link between place of education and earnings. In this study, I explore major-occupation mismatch as a possible mechanism and examine whether foreign- and US-educated degrees lead to differential job placements. I employ a two-step approach to test the mismatch hypothesis. First, using loglinear models, I assess the association between major, occupation and place of education with goodness of fit statistics. Because loglinear models have limited usefulness in multivariate analysis, I then run conditional logit models – which take into account the occupational choice set – as job placement is a function of both individual and occupational characteristics.

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Presented in Session 30: Immigration and the Labor Force