Now published in Migration Studies: Higher share of immigrants in one’s occupation = more negative attitudes

Our article is now properly published at Migration Studies. Not satisfied that “threat” and “competition” with foreigners is typically reduced to a measure of education (!), we sought a realistic measure of competition. So we examine the relationship between the share of foreigners at the occupational level — a much more relevant unit of analysis than education levels or the share of foreigners in a geographical unit — and negative attitudes to immigrants. We use objective measures of pressures in the labour-market: the unemployment rate in one’s occupation. At this stage, we find support for “threat” in that a higher share of immigrants is associated with more negative attitudes.

But we didn’t stop there. We find that this relationship can probably be accounted for by sorting on job quality — particularly the association with objective pressures. This sorting is a consequence of selective migration policies, but we also show that the association between the occupational share of foreigners and attitudes decreases for workers with better job prospects: This implies that workers welcome foreigners to overcome labour market shortages. Put differently, we show that workers seem to react to immigrants in a nuanced way.

Pecoraro, Marco, and Didier Ruedin. 2016. ‘A Foreigner Who Does Not Steal My Job: The Role of Unemployment Risk and Values in Attitudes toward Equal Opportunities’. International Migration Review 50 (3): 628–66.
———. 2020. ‘Occupational Exposure to Foreigners and Attitudes towards Equal Opportunities’. Migration Studies 8 (3): 382–423.

Call for Papers — Highly skilled migration in the labour market: Brain waste or brain gain?

IMISCOE Annual Conference 30 June – 1 July 2020, Luxembourg

Highly skilled migration is a major phenomenon in a globalized world with important implications for source and destination countries. In the past, most studies have focused on the so-called brain drain (i.e. human capital emigration from developing countries). Here we seek contributions on the phenomenon of brain waste: the underutilization of migrant education and skills in the host country. Such a labour market mismatch is often referred to as over-education, horizontal mismatch between employment and field of education, or simply skills mismatch. Consider the example of a migrant scientist who works as a taxi driver.

We are seeking innovative quantitative papers that examine the (different) reasons and consequences of educational or skills mismatch, either vertical or horizontal, including contributions to better measurement. Possible research questions are the propensity of immigrants to become self-employed as a result of mismatch, their propensity to (re-) migrate due to mismatch, or their likelihood to send remittances, or the eventual consequence of hosting mismatched immigrants for the host labour market. We particularly welcome papers that fully account for the gender dimension of brain waste.

Papers addressing counterfactuals will be specially welcome: the mismatch a migrant would have experienced – if any – if he or she stayed in the country of origin (the migrant scientist working as a taxi driver may not have found adequate employment in the country of origin).

Conference: IMISCOE Annual Conference, 30 June — 1 July 2020, Luxembourg; see for further information. Conference fee: €200.

Please submit your abstract online (max 200 words) at Deadline: 24 November 2019.

Research group:

Call as PDF: IMISCOE Brain Waste 2020

Join us! Post-doc related to resilience

Apply now for a post-doc position at the School for Teacher Education FHNW to work on resilience related to a project at the NCCR on the move.

Your duties will be in the context of international research on the development of resilience of students through multivariate quantitative research. You will coordinate research projects, collect data, process and evaluate them statistically. Together with the other team members, you will develop new research proposals, support doctoral students, and be actively involved in peer review publications. The position is initially limited until 31.08.2023.

In addition to an above-average doctorate in educational sciences or psychology, you have excellent quantitative research skills and sound theoretical knowledge in developmental psychology and school education. A very good knowledge of German and English is required. Ability to work in a team, ability to work under pressure, flexibility, efficiency, accuracy and a pronounced research motivation round off your profile.

To apply:

Deadline: 27 June 2019

For further information: Wassilis Kassis, Head of Research and Development

Join the serious conversation on immigration — CAS Migration and Diversity

Immigration is no doubt a topic high on the political agenda and omni-present in everyday debates. Jointly with the Master of Advanced Studies in Intercultural Communication, Università della Svizzera italiana, the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies (SFM) of the University of Neuchâtel offers a Certificate in Advanced Studies on Migration and Diversity. There is still time to apply and joint the serious conversation on immigration.

CAS – Migration and Diversity – Leaflet