Over-Education among Immigrants in Germany


Dissertation project

Theoretical background and objectives

Within my dissertation I am looking at the risk factors of becoming and staying over-educated among immigrants in Germany. Over-education refers to employees whose educational level is higher than the level actually required for their occupation. I am thereby addressing the following research questions:

  1. Why are some immigrant groups more likely to be over-educated than others and which factors influence the chances of finding (quickly) adequate employment?
  2. What is the role of social capital in this process, hence, how do family members and friends actively and emotionally support the immigrant job seeker in the process of coping with becoming/avoiding over-education?
  3. What are the consequences of over-education in a life course perspective in terms of employment and family patterns?

I am thereby contributing to the literature by a) extending the concept of over-education and b) incorporating social capital theory into the theoretical model. 

Research design, data and methodology

The National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) serves as the data base with which I will test my hypotheses.  Several methods will be used such as sequence analysis, logit regression analysis and event history analysis.

Main content

Seibel, Verena (2015): Over-Education over the Lifecourse among Immigrants in Germany. Dissertation. Berlin Graduate School of Social Science, Humboldt Universität (forthcoming).

Selected Publications

Griesshaber, Nicolas/Seibel, Verena (2015): "Over-Education among Immigrants in Europe. The Value of Civic Involvement". In: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Vol. 41, No. 3-4, S. 374-398.