Call: IMISCOE 2019


We are seeking paper presentations on highly skilled migrants and brain waste in the labour market for the annual IMISCOE conference in Malmö, 26 -- 28 June 2019. Please submit abstracts by 25 November 2018.

Topic and Scope

Highly skilled migration is a major phenomenon in a globalized world. The international mobility of talent has important implications for source and destination countries. To date, most studies have focused on the so-called brain drain (i.e. human capital emigration from developing countries). Recent research, however, has increasingly emphasized 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 (Also referred to as over-qualification, over-schooling or surplus schooling. The term educational mismatch is broader; it covers both over- and under-education. Under-education occurs when workers have lower levels of education than is required for their job.). 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 brain waste, including contributions to better measurement of skills mismatch, either in vertical or horizontal terms. 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. We particularly welcome papers that fully account for the gender dimension of brain waste.

Furthermore, the current literature does not adequately address the question of the skills mismatch a migrant would have experienced -- if any -- if he or she stayed in the country of origin. Notions of brain drain, and brain waste should ideally take into consideration these counterfactuals. After all, the migrant scientist working as a taxi driver may not have found adequate employment in the country of origin.


IMISCOE Annual Conference, 26 --28 June 2019, Malmö

See for further information.

All presenters will have to register for the conference and are given the opportunity to join the IMISCOE network (€200).


Please submit your abstract online at Deadline: 25 November 2018. Results will be announced by 1 December 2018.

Abstracts of maximum 200 words (1500 characters) should include a clear research question, information on data and methods, as well as (expected) results.