IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The disintegrating Canadian labour market? The extent of the market then and now


  • Patrick Coe
  • J.C. Herbert Emery


Analysis of real wages for three occupations in 13 Canadian cities for 1901-50 suggests Canada had a national labour market at least until 1950. However, analysis of real wages for 10 Canadian cities for 1971-2000 yields little evidence favouring integration of Canada's regional labour markets. The apparent lack of labour market integration reflects a weakness of an approach that assumes markets are in equilibrium. Unemployment rates after 1970 suggest that some regional markets may be characterized by excess labour supply. Analysis of relative provincial unemployment rates yields evidence consistent with local labour force adjustment to changing labour market conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Coe & J.C. Herbert Emery, 2004. "The disintegrating Canadian labour market? The extent of the market then and now," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 879-897, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:37:y:2004:i:4:p:879-897

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: Available to subscribers only. Alternative access through JSTOR and Ingenta.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Kennan & James R. Walker, 2011. "The Effect of Expected Income on Individual Migration Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 211-251, January.
    2. Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Crime and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 1031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    4. McCormick, Barry, 1997. "Regional unemployment and labour mobility in the UK," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 581-589, April.
    5. Yashiv, Eran, 2004. "The Self-Selection of Migrant Workers Revisited," IZA Discussion Papers 1094, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Amelie Constant & Douglas S. Massey, 2003. "Self-selection, earnings, and out-migration: A longitudinal study of immigrants to Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(4), pages 631-653, November.
    7. Jennifer Hunt, 2000. "Why Do People Still Live in East Germany?," NBER Working Papers 7564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Borjas, George J. & Bronars, Stephen G. & Trejo, Stephen J., 1992. "Self-selection and internal migration in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-185, September.
    9. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
    10. Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected? An Economic Analysis," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 147, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    11. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-176, February.
    12. Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2012. "The Dynamics of Repeat Migration: A Markov Chain Analysis," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 362-388, June.
    13. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    14. George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1991. "Immigrant Participation in the Welfare System," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(2), pages 195-211, January.
    15. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "From Reunification to Economic Integration: Productivity and the Labor Market in Eastern Germany," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 1-92.
    16. John C. Ham & Xianghong Li & Patricia B. Reagan, 2004. "Propensity Score Matching, a Distance-Based Measure of Migration, and the Wage Growth of Young Men," Working Papers 2004_3, York University, Department of Economics.
    17. Stark, Oded & Wang, Yong, 2002. "Inducing human capital formation: migration as a substitute for subsidies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 29-46, October.
    18. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
    19. Ernst P. Goss & Niles C. Schoening, 1984. "Search Time, Unemployment, and the Migration Decision," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(4), pages 570-579.
    20. Pissarides, Christopher A & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 1989. "Unemployment and the Inter-regional Mobility of Labour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 739-755, September.
    21. Schwartz, Aba, 1973. "Interpreting the Effect of Distance on Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(5), pages 1153-1169, Sept.-Oct.
    22. Abdurrahman Aydemir, 2003. "Are Immigrants Positively or Negatively Selected? The Role of Immigrant Selection Criteria and Self-Selection," Labor and Demography 0306002, EconWPA.
    23. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Immigration and Self-Selection," NBER Chapters,in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 29-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Hughes, Gordon & McCormick, Barry, 1981. "Do Council Housing Policies Reduce Migration between Regions?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 919-937, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ross D. Hickey & David S. Jacks, 2011. "Nominal rigidities and retail price dispersion in Canada over the twentieth century," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(3), pages 749-780, August.
    2. J.C. Herbert Emery & Ronald D. Kneebone, 2008. "Socialists, Populists, Resources, and the Divergent Development of Alberta and Saskatchewan," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(4), pages 419-440, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:37:y:2004:i:4:p:879-897. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Prof. Werner Antweiler). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.