Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Charles Scherbaum

Committee Members

Harold Goldstein

Lise Saari

Wei Wang

Zhiqing (Albert) Zhou

Subject Categories

Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Social Psychology


culture, migrant, social capital, career achievement, multilevel modeling, archival data


Although there is a large body of literature about migration and employment post migration, much of it is limited to study designs restricting either migrant groups or countries. In other words, current research is limited to focusing either a) only on one migrant group (usually expatriates), thereby failing to compare it to other migrant groups within the same country or cross-nationally or b) on multiple migrant groups in one country, thereby making it difficult to draw comparisons cross-nationally across those migrant groups. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to 1) examine the career-related outcomes, post migration, of three types of migrant groups representing a broad array of migrants and 2) to do this cross-nationally using a single design and dataset so as to be able to draw cross-national comparisons and conclusions.

To achieve these objectives, I analyzed data about three migrant groups: Employer Sponsored Expatriates (migrants sent on assignment by an employer), Self-Initiated Expatriates (migrants who emigrated on their own initiative for work related reasons, without the support of an employer), and Asylum Grant Migrants (migrants who relocate out of necessity such as on grounds of fear or persecution and were granted asylum). I selected these migrant groups as they represent a broad range of migration types. Data was acquired from the Eurostat Labor Force Survey and its 2014 Ad Hoc module titled “Labor market situations of migrants and their immediate descendants” (EULFS) as well as other sources including project GLOBE’s cultural dimensions, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), O*NET, and the Migration Integration Policy Index (MIPEX).

Using a multilevel design which included a micro (immigrant) level and a macro (country) level, I investigated the extent to which to career outcomes (career achievement and financial compensation) vary by migrant groups indirectly through human and social capital resources. On the micro level, I also examined whether these relationships differed by immigrant gender, perceived discrimination (as perceived by the migrants themselves) and cultural distance. Next, I examined similar potential moderation relationships using macro (national) level variables. These variables include national cultural dimensions (Power Distance, Individualism/ Collectivism, Gender Egalitarianism), national policies (GDP per capita, Social Expenditure) and labor market mobility policies. Analysis was primarily done using a multilevel moderated mediation allowing multilevel mediation analyses.

Results found that both financial compensation and career achievement differed by migrant group. Social capital was found to mediate the relationship between migrant status and career outcomes. Generally, the direct and indirect effects of migrant status on financial compensation and career achievement were the most harmful for Asylum Granted Migrants and the least harmful for Employer Sponsored Expatriates. Individual level moderators such as gender and perceived discrimination were found to affect the career outcomes of each migrant group differently. Likewise, the group level cultural values as moderators were largely only impactful in the case of Self-Initiated Expatriates where the effects of each cultural value was different. Ultimately the patterns which emerged from my study offer a foundation for cross-national, comparative research on migrant groups. Important implications of my findings for theory and practice are discussed.