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Immigrant earnings: age at immigration matters


  • Joseph Schaafsma
  • Arthur Sweetman


A correlation between age at immigration and earnings is observed in Canadian census data. The evidence supports three underlying sources of the effect; first, work experience in the source country yields virtually no return in the host country; second, the return to education varies with age at immigration, and, finally, an "acculturation" effect is observed for immigrants who are visible minorities or whose mother tongue is not English. Further, it is found that educational attainment, and relatedly earnings, vary systematically across age at immigration with those arriving around age 15 to 18 obtaining fewer years of education.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:34:y:2001:i:4:p:1066-1099

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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