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Changes in wage inequality in Canada: An interprovincial perspective

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  • Nicole M. Fortin
  • Thomas Lemieux

Abstract

This paper uses the Canadian Labour Force Survey to understand why the level and dispersion of wages have evolved differently across provinces from 1997 to 2013. The faster increase in the level of wages and the decline in wage dispersion in Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and Alberta are the starkest interprovincial differences. We find that they are accounted for by the growth in the extractive resources sectors, which benefited less-educated and younger workers the most. Increases in minimum wages since 2005 are found to be the main reason why wages at the very bottom grew more than those in the middle of the distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2015. "Changes in wage inequality in Canada: An interprovincial perspective," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(2), pages 682-713, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:48:y:2015:i:2:p:682-713
    DOI: 10.1111/caje.12140
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    Cited by:

    1. David Albouy & Alex Chernoff & Chandler Lutz & Casey Warman, 2019. "Local Labor Markets in Canada and the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 533-594.
    2. Benoit Dostie, 2018. "Polarisation du marché du travail, structure industrielle et croissance économique," CIRANO Project Reports 2018rp-02, CIRANO.
    3. David A. Green, 2015. "Chasing after good jobs. Do they exist and does it matter if they do?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1215-1265, November.
    4. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2017. "Environmental and resource economics: A Canadian retrospective," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1381-1413, December.
    5. Joseph Marchand & Jeremy Weber, 2018. "Local Labor Markets And Natural Resources: A Synthesis Of The Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 469-490, April.
    6. James B. Davies & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2017. "Wealth inequality: Theory, measurement and decomposition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1224-1261, December.
    7. Joseph Marchand, 2015. "The distributional impacts of an energy boom in Western Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(2), pages 714-735, May.
    8. Shutao Cao & Mohanad Salameh & Mai Seki & Pierre St-Amant, 2017. "Trends in Firm Entry and New Entrepreneurship in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 43(3), pages 202-220, September.
    9. David A. Green & René Morissette & Ben M. Sand & Iain Snoddy, 2019. "Economy-Wide Spillovers from Booms: Long-Distance Commuting and the Spread of Wage Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 643-687.
    10. Tingting Zhang & Morley Gunderson, 2020. "Impact of Occupational Licensing on Wages and Wage Inequality: Canadian Evidence 1998–2018," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 338-351, December.
    11. Audra Bowlus & Émilien Gouin-Bonenfant & Huju Liu & Lance Lochner & Youngmin Park, 2021. "Four Decades of Canadian Earnings Inequality and Dynamics Across Workers and Firms," Staff Working Papers 21-20, Bank of Canada.
    12. Charles Beach, 2018. "Distributional Gains Of Near Higher Earners," Working Paper 1398, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    13. Peter Burton & Shelley Phipps, 2017. "Economic Well-Being of Canadian Children," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 43(4), pages 299-330, December.
    14. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Torres, Javier, 2016. "Foreign human capital and the earnings gap between immigrants and Canadian-born workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 104-119.
    15. Nicole M. Fortin, 2019. "Increasing earnings inequality and the gender pay gap in Canada: Prospects for convergence," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(2), pages 407-440, May.
    16. Giuseppe Berlingieri & Patrick Blanchenay & Chiara Criscuolo, 2017. "The Great Divergence(s)," CEP Discussion Papers dp1488, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    17. Thomas Lemieux, 2014. "Occupations, fields of study and returns to education," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1047-1077, November.
    18. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2017. "Environmental and resource economics: A Canadian retrospective," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(5), pages 1381-1413, December.
    19. Young Cheol Jung & Adian McFarlane & Anupam Das, 2021. "The effect of minimum wages on consumption in Canada," The Economic and Labour Relations Review, , vol. 32(1), pages 65-89, March.
    20. Shyon Baumann & Hamnah Majeed, 2020. "Framing economic inequality in the news in Canada and the United States," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 6(1), pages 1-11, December.
    21. Joseph Marchand, 2017. "Thinking about Minimum Wage Increases in Alberta: Theoretically, Empirically, and Regionally," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 491, pages 1-20, September.
    22. Charles M. Beach, 2016. "Changing income inequality: A distributional paradigm for Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 49(4), pages 1229-1292, November.
    23. Marchand, Joseph, 2020. "Routine Tasks were Demanded from Workers during an Energy Boom," Working Papers 2020-8, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    24. W. Craig Riddell, 2018. "The labor market in Canada, 2000–2016," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 432-432, April.
    25. Dany Brouillette & Calista Cheung & Daniel Gao & Olivier Gervais, 2017. "The Impacts of Minimum Wage Increases on the Canadian Economy," Staff Analytical Notes 17-26, Bank of Canada.

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    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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