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Foreign-born vs Native-born Canadians: A Comparison of Their Inter-provincial Labour Mobility

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  • Lin, Zhengxi
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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the inter-provincial labour mobility behaviour of immigrants relative to that of native-born Canadians. Foreign-born Canadians differ a great deal from their domestically-born counterparts. The foreign-born population is geographically concentrated in a few provinces and a few big cities. As a whole, they are older, better educated, more likely to be married, and more likely to have dependent children and bigger households. They are less active in participating in full-time education and training. They fare relatively better in the labour market. As a result, a higher proportion of them receive social security benefits that are directly tied to the presence of dependent children or age such as family allowance benefits and pension income, but a lower proportion receive benefits that are related to labour market performance such as employment insurance benefits and social assistance benefits. As a whole, immigrants are relatively less mobile inter-provincially. This is true both nationally and across almost every province. Among those who move to other provinces, destinations for foreign-born migrants are highly geographically concentrated. Most of them make their new homes in Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia. A significantly lower proportion of them relocate to other provinces for economic considerations but a much higher proportion move to go to school or after retirement. Earnings return to their inter-provincial migration is significantly more substantial. This is the result of both wage increase and more hours of work after migration. Multi-variate regression results show that there are no statistically significant structural differences in the determinants of inter-provincial migration decisions between comparable foreign- and native-born Canadians. The probability of moving to other provinces, for immigrants as well as for domestically-born Canadians, is higher if earnings potentials elsewhere are relatively higher, lower if it is relatively harder to find employment elsewhere, higher among better educated workers, lower among French-speaking Canadians, lower among union members, and decreases with age, family size and job tenure. None of the proxies for government's labour market interventions significantly affect the decision to move inter-provincially. The lower mobility rates among the foreign-born are fully attributable to distributional and compositional differences between the immigrant and non-immigrant populations. These findings have a direct policy implication on immigration selection. To encourage population and labour force growth in economically less prosperous provinces, it appears appropriate and effective to amend the current immigration selection and approval system, considering intended destinations as an additional factor and awarding additional points to applicants who choose designated provinces.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 1998114e.

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    Date of creation: 23 Sep 1998
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:1998114e

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    Web page: http://www.statcan.gc.ca
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    Related research

    Keywords: Ethnic diversity and immigration; Immigrants and non-permanent residents; Integration of newcomers; Labour; Labour market and income; Labour mobility; turnover and work absences; Wages; salaries and other earnings; Work transitions and life stages;

    References

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    1. Borjas, George J & Hilton, Lynette, 1996. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means-Tested Entitlement Programs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 575-604, May.
    2. Borjas, George J & Freeman, Richard B & Katz, Lawrence, 1996. "Searching for the Effect of Immigration on the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 246-51, May.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Immigration Policy, National Origin, and Immigrant Skills: A Comparison of Canada and the United States," NBER Working Papers 3691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," NBER Working Papers 4955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. David Card, 1996. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Working Papers 747, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    8. Bloom, D. & Grenier, G. & Gunderson, M., 1993. "The Changing Labour Market Position of Canadian Immigrants," Working Papers 9305e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    9. Marr, William L. & Siklos, Pierre L., 1994. "The link between immigration and unemployment in Canada," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25, February.
    10. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    11. Ather H. Akbari, 1989. "The Benefits of Immigrants to Canada: Evidence on Tax and Public Services," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 15(4), pages 424-435, December.
    12. Michael Baker & Dwayne Benjamin, 1995. "The Receipt of Transfer Payments by Immigrants to Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 650-676.
    13. Chris Robinson & Nigel Tomes, 1982. "Self-Selection and Interprovincial Migration in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(3), pages 474-502, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Lei Xu, 2007. "Characterization and Explanation of the 1996-2001 Inter-CMA Migration of the Second Generation in Canada," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 196, McMaster University.
    2. Grady, Patrick & Macmillan, Kathleen, 2007. "Interprovincial Barriers to Labour Mobility in Canada:Policy, Knowledge Gaps and Research Issues," MPRA Paper 2988, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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