Marco Pecoraro and Didier Ruedin (SFM, University of Neuchâtel)


While the research on skilled migration has primarily focused on the economic evaluation of gains and losses due to the brain drain from developing to developed countries, recent research has increasingly emphasized the phenomenon of brain waste according to which migrant workers underutilize their education and skills in the host labour market. Within the latter strand of the literature, it is generally admitted that, compared to natives, immigrants are more likely to be overeducated and receive lower returns to a year of overeducation. However, little is known about how overeducation affects the migrants' propensity to become self-employed, to emigrate from the host labour market and to transfer remittances to their home countries. Moreover, an important issue is related to how overeducation is measured. Indeed, traditional methods of measuring overeducation prevent one from constructing a measure that incorporates the notion of skills mismatch. As a result, basic measurement methods may generate biased estimates of the incidence and labour market effects of brain waste. In this context, we want to take advantage of the IMISCOE Research Network to organize a workshop with the purpose of assembling the best and most recent contributions of empirical research on brain waste. This initiative can strengthen the quantitative faction within IMISCOE, attract new members or bring former members back into IMISCOE.


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