Language Used at Home and Educational–Occupational Mismatch of Migrants by Gender

Debora Pricila Birgier, Eyal Bar-Haim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability of migrants to use the host country's language is crucial to their integration. Nonetheless, the association between migrant literacy and their labor market outcome is less explored compared to the association between their educational attainment and their economic integration. Moreover, this ability has another vital role in immigrant assimilation, serving as an indicator of cultural capital. The current study, therefore, examines the extent to which language as cultural capital shapes gender differences in migrant economic integration, as measured by educational–occupational mismatch (EOM). Using the PIAAC 2018 dataset, we employ a series of nested fixed-effect linear models in which our dependent variable is years of over-education and study the effect of language use at home, controlling for linguistic competence in the host country language. We find that once controlling for educational level, migrant men who use a different language than the host country's language at home are not more prone to EOM. However, migrant women, who are at higher risk of EOM, suffer even more when using a foreign language at home. We suggest that using a foreign language at home for women might indicate low host-country-specific cultural capital, which could directly affect migrant women’s integration into the labor market.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Indicators Research
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2023


  • Cultural capital
  • Educational–occupational mismatch
  • Migration
  • Overeducation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (all)


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