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Poets & Quants: MBA pay - the impact of moving overseas

01 Jan 2024
Moving internationally, post-MBA, could actually hurt your pay prospects, a new study finds.

Originally found at Poets & Quants

The study (Academy of Management Discoveries), conducted by professors from the Wharton School, London Business School, and Utrecht University, found that MBA grads who moved internationally once or twice experienced less pay growth compared to those who stayed put. However, grads who made more than four international moves, termed “Superglobals”, saw substantially higher pay growth. The authors collected survey data from 1,322 MBA grads, analyzing their career steps, countries worked in, and compensation at various job stages.

“The negative relationship between initial international mobility and pay surprised us, because it challenges the notion that broader international experience will automatically be rewarded with higher compensation,” the authors say. “We found that while our interviewees often described these moves as enriching and rewarding in other ways, they could be financially costly.”


One caveat of the study was that the greatest financial benefits went to a small number of MBA grads who made more than four international moves after their MBA. Superglobals saw substantially higher pay growth with their sustained international mobility.

“Based on the interviews we conducted to supplement our quantitative study, it seems that their extraordinary and wide-ranging global knowledge, skills, and capabilities rocketed them into a highly valued elite global class of their own,” the authors say. “Because of their extensive global experience, they were attractive candidates for particular high-level executive roles — and they also had very strong negotiating power when they were recruited for those roles.”

Continue reading the original article at Poets & Quants.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Discoveries.

Read the Academy of Management Insights summary.

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