The Social Rate of Return to Investing in Character: An Economic Evaluation of Alberta's Immigrant Access Fund Small Loan Progr
AbstractSkilled immigrants have been identified as a key source of labour supply for addressing the expected labour market shortages in Canada arising from an aging population and strong economic growth. The integration of immigrants into the workforce often requires that they have the necessary accreditation to work at their chosen occupation. However, credential recognition has proven to be a significant labour market barrier for skilled immigrants. We estimate the social rate of return of investing in immigrant credentials by analyzing the results of the the Immigrant Access Fund (IAF), an institution providing small loans on a not for profit basis to assist Alberta immigrants in acquiring the Canadian accreditation and training they need to work their field of expertise. Under very conservative assumptions, our assessment of the average social return to the IAF loan program demonstrates that this is a very high return social program with annual real rates of return of 33% or more. These returns are even higher for higher earning occupations such as health and engineering.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, University of Calgary in its series Working Papers with number 2012-01.
Date of creation: 28 Feb 2012
Date of revision: 28 Feb 2012
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