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First and Second Generation Immigrant Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes: A Comparison of the United States and Canada

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Author Info

  • Aydemir, Abdurrahman

    ()
    (Sabanci University)

  • Sweetman, Arthur

    ()
    (McMaster University)

Abstract

The educational and labor market outcomes of the first, first-and-a-half, second and third generations of immigrants to the United States and Canada are compared. These countries’ immigration flows have large differences in source countries, scale and timing, and Canada has a much larger policy emphasis on skilled workers. Following from these, the educational attainment of US immigrants is currently lower than that in Canada and the intergenerational transmission of education is expected to cause the gap to grow. This in turn influences earnings. Controlling only for age, the current US second generation has earnings comparable to those of the third, while earnings are higher for the second generation in Canada. Interestingly, the positive wage gap in favour of first-and-a-half and second generation immigrants in Canada is exceeded by the gap in educational attainment, but a lower immigrant rate of return attenuates education’s impact. Moreover, observable characteristics explain little of the difference in earnings outcomes across generations in the US but their introduction into an earnings equation causes the Canadian second generation premium to switch signs and become negative relative to the third.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2298.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Research in Labor Economics, 2007, 27, 215-270
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2298

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Keywords: United States; immigration; second generation; Canada; education;

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References

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  1. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Mikal Skuterud, 2004. "Explaining the Deteriorating Entry Earnings of Canada’s Immigrant," Labor and Demography 0409006, EconWPA.
  2. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Wen-Hao Chen & Miles Corak, 2009. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility among the Children of Canadian Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 377-397, May.
  3. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2007. "Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 57-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. George J. Borjas, 1993. "Immigration Policy, National Origin, and Immigrant Skills: A Comparison of Canada and the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 21-44 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Mikal Skuterud, 2005. "Explaining the deteriorating entry earnings of Canada's immigrant cohorts, 1966 - 2000," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 641-672, May.
  6. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1985. "Immigrant Generation and Income in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 61(173), pages 540-53, June.
  7. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  8. Joseph Schaafsma & Arthur Sweetman, 2001. "Immigrant earnings: age at immigration matters," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1066-1099, November.
  9. Chiswick, Barry R. & DebBurman, Noyna, 2003. "Educational Attainment: Analysis by Immigrant Generation," IZA Discussion Papers 731, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Peter Kuhn & Arthur Sweetman, 2002. "Aboriginals as unwilling immigrants: Contact, assimilation and labour market outcomes," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 331-355.
  11. Chiswick, Barry R, 1988. "Differences in Education and Earnings across Racial and Ethnic Groups: Tastes, Discrimination, and Investments in Child Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 571-97, August.
  12. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Carmen Aina & Giorgia Casalone & Paolo Ghinetti, 2008. "Internal Geographical Mobility And Educational Outcomes. An Analysis For An Italian Province," Working Papers 120, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
  2. Aydemir, Abdurrahman, 2012. "Skill Based Immigrant Selection and Labor Market Outcomes by Visa Category," IZA Discussion Papers 6433, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Picot, Garnett & Sweetman, Arthur, 2011. "Canadian Immigration Policy and Immigrant Economic Outcomes: Why the Differences in Outcomes between Sweden and Canada?," IZA Policy Papers 25, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Stefanie Schurer, 2008. "Labour Market Outcomes of Second Generation Immigrants: How Heterogeneous Are They Really?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2008n14, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  5. George Messinis, 2009. "Earnings and Languages in the Family: Second-Generation Australians," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 85(s1), pages S59-S73, 09.
  6. Abramitzky, Ran & Lavy, Victor, 2013. "How Responsive is Investment in Schooling to Changes in Redistributive Policies and in Returns?," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 150, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  7. Kucera, Miroslav, 2008. "The Educational Attainment of Second Generation Immigrants in Canada: Analysis based on the General Social Survey," MPRA Paper 14036, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Kevin Milligan, 2009. "O Sister, Where Art Thou? The Role of Son Preference and Sex Choice: Evidence from Immigrants to Canada," NBER Working Papers 15391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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