Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Employment and Education–Occupation Mismatches of Immigrants and their Children in the Netherlands: Comparisons with the Native Majority Group

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Abstract:  This study examines the labor market integration of immigrants and their children in the Netherlands focusing on employment and over- and underqualification. Using data from the first wave of the Netherlands Longitudinal Life-Course Study (NELLS), the analysis shows disadvantages in employment probabilities for men and women from different foreign origin groups compared to the Dutch majority even after accounting for differences in human capital. Ethnic differences in employment probabilities are lower, but still visible, when comparing only respondents who obtained post-secondary education in the Netherlands. Further, first-generation immigrant men from Turkey and Morocco are at higher risk of being overeducated than Dutch majority men whereas this is not the case for second generation men and first- and secondgeneration minority women. Substantial ethnic difference in the likelihood of being undereducated are not prevalent. Having a foreign compared to a Dutch degree is related to lower labor market outcomes, but this negative relation is more pronounced for women than for men. Finally, there is some indication that overeducation is somewhat less common in the public sector than in the private sector, but minorities do not benefit more from this than the Dutch majority.

Keywords:  employment; immigrant integration; overeducation; public sector; returns to education; the Netherlands; undereducation


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© Yassine Khoudja. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.