Irena Kogan (University of Mannheim) discusses the determinants of immigrants' investments in official recognition of their education, and the labour market effects of this recognition in Germany.
In light of the continuing discussions about the recruitment of a highly-qualified labour force in Germany, this article explores the determinants of immigrants' investments in official recognition of their education, and the labour market effects of this recognition. We examine both research questions with the help of the dataset extending to immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Results of the propensity score matching analysis show that level of education, occupational status in the country of origin, employment in professions that in Germany require specialized authorization, and language proficiency all positively affect immigrants' investments in education recognition. Conversely, age at migration exerts a negative effect. Recognition of education certainly pays off in the German labour market, particularly when concerning high-status employment entry. Penalties associated with a partial recognition of education seem to be of minor importance. The biggest losers appear to be immigrants who attempted to get their education recognized but failed altogether. Not attempting to get one's education recognized, on the other hand, seems to be a rational strategy largely on the part of less educated migrants who are more interested in investing into a quick labour market entry without much concern about the status of their employment.