A panel data investigation into over-education among tertiary educated Australian immigrants
Purpose – To investigate the extent of over-education for recently arrived tertiary educated male immigrants in order to ascertain if higher educated immigrants face assimilation hurdles in the Australian labour market. Design/methodology/approach – Using immigrant longitudinal data (LSIA), this paper uses the job analysis/objective method of defining over-education. Also, bivariate probits are used to account for selectivity into employment when studying the determinants of graduate over-education. The over, required and under-education (ORU) earnings function is utilised to find the rates of return to education investment. Findings – It is found that English speaking background (ESB) immigrants to have similar rates of over-education compared to the native born, while only Asian non-English speaking background (NESB) immigrants see a rise in over-education after tighter immigration and welfare policies were introduced. Returns to required schooling are substantial, but the penalty for excess years of schooling is large, though consistent with the stylised facts of over-education. Research limitations/implications – Short time-frame (up to five years) only allows for an investigation of initial assimilation. Originality/value – Using panel data, this paper is the first to study the initial phase of highly educated immigrant assimilation into the Australian labour market from the viewpoint of job matching rather than just employment.
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