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The Myth of Immigrant Women as Secondary Workers: Evidence from Canada

  • Al?cia Adser?
  • Ana M. Ferrer

We use the confidential files of the Canadian Census 1991–2006, combined with information from O*NET on the skill requirements of jobs, to show that the labor market patterns of female immigrants do not fit the profile of secondary workers, but rather conform to the recent experience of married native women with rising participation (and wage assimilation). At best, only relatively uneducated immigrant women in unskilled occupations may fit the profile of secondary workers. Educated immigrant women experience skill assimilation over time: a reduction in physical strength and a gradual increase in analytical skills required in their jobs relative to natives.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.104.5.360
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 104 (2014)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
Pages: 360-64

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:5:p:360-64
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.5.360
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  1. Susumu Imai & Derek Stacey & Casey Warman, 2011. "From Engineer to Taxi Driver? Occupational Skills and the Economic Outcomes of Immigrants," Working Papers 1275, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Seik Kim & Nalina Varanasi, . "Labor Supply of Married Women in Credit-Constrained Households: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers UWEC-2010-01, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  3. Long, James E, 1980. "The Effect of Americanization on Earnings: Some Evidence for Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 620-29, June.
  4. Alicia Adsera & Mariola Pytlikova, 2012. "The role of language in shaping international migration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1206, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  5. George J. Borjas, 2013. "The Slowdown in the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants: Aging and Cohort Effects Revisited Again," NBER Working Papers 19116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christopher Worswick, 1999. "Credit Constraints and the Labour Supply of Immigrant Families in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(1), pages 152-170, February.
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