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Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States

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Author Info

  • Antecol, Heather

    ()
    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    ()
    (University of Melbourne)

  • Trejo, Stephen

    ()
    (University of Texas at Austin)

Abstract

Census data for 1990/91 indicate that Australian and Canadian immigrants have higher levels of English fluency, education, and income (relative to natives) than do U.S. immigrants. This skill deficit for U.S. immigrants arises primarily because the United States receives a much larger share of immigrants from Latin America than do the other two countries. After excluding Latin American immigrants, the observable skills of immigrants are similar in the three countries. These patterns suggest that the comparatively low overall skill level of U.S. immigrants may have more to do with geographic and historical ties to Mexico than with the fact that skill-based admissions are less important in the United States than in Australia and Canada.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 363.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2003, 38 (1), 192-218
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp363

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Keywords: immigrant skills; immigration policy; Immigration;

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  1. Robert Warren & Jeffrey Passel, 1987. "A Count of the Uncountable: Estimates of Undocumented Aliens Counted in the 1980 United States Census," Demography, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 375-393, August.
  2. Alan G. Green & David A. Green, 1995. "Canadian Immigration Policy: The Effectiveness of the Point System and Other Instruments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4b), pages 1006-41, November.
  3. Geoffrey Carliner, 1995. "The Language Ability of U.S. Immigrants: Assimilation and Cohort Effects," NBER Working Papers 5222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. repec:fth:calaec:1-96 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. David Card & Richard B. Freeman, 1993. "Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number card93-1, octubre-d.
  6. Jong-Il Kim & Lawrence J. Lau, 1996. "The sources of Asian Pacific economic growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 448-54, April.
  7. McDonald, James Ted & Worswick, Christopher, 1999. "The Earnings of Immigrant Men in Australia: Assimilation, Cohort Effects, and Macroeconomic Conditions," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 75(228), pages 49-62, March.
  8. 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.
  9. Katharine Donato & Jorge Durand & Douglas Massey, 1992. "Stemming the tide? Assessing the deterrent effects of the immigration reform and control act," Demography, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 139-157, May.
  10. Wright, Robert E & Maxim, Paul S, 1993. "Immigration Policy and Immigrant Quality: Empirical Evidence from Canada," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 337-52, November.
  11. Monica Boyd, 1976. "Immigration policies and trends: A comparison of Canada and the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 83-104, February.
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