Stockholm University
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Is overqualification a stepping stone for career progression among children of immigrants?

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Version 2 2024-03-18, 14:23
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posted on 2024-03-18, 14:23 authored by Wooseong KimWooseong Kim, Raffaele Grotti, Siddartha AradhyaSiddartha Aradhya

Overqualification is one of the key labor market disadvantages that the children of immigrants born in the host society –the second generation (G2)–disproportionately experience compared to the majority population. Higher prevalence of overqualification among the G2 may result from their strategic choice to circumvent persistent unemployment and utilizing overqualification as a stepping stone into adequate employment – as predicted by career mobility theory. Our paper investigates 1) how overqualification and unemployment fit into the career progressions and 2) how this varies between the second generation and majority population. This study draws on Swedish register data on the total population and applies dynamic correlated random-effects multinomial logistic models. Our results show that the chances to move to adequate employment are higher for unemployed individuals than for overqualified workers. This result, that holds for both the majority population and G2 groups, is against the idea that overqualification serves as a stepping stone. We find that the chances to transit to adequate employment are higher for the majority population. This goes hand in hand with higher risks for G2 overqualified workers to fall into unemployment and for G2 unemployed individuals to remain entrapped into unemployment – thus creating a vicious cycle of disadvantages.


Dynamics of immigrant integration in unemployment, poverty, and segregation

Swedish Research Council

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The Baltic Sea Foundation (grant number: S1-20-0052)




Original title

Is overqualification a stepping stone for career progression among children of immigrants?

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  • English

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