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Does Postsecondary Education Benefit Aboriginal Canadians? An Examination of Earnings and Employment Outcomes for Recent Aboriginal Graduates


  • David Walters
  • Jerry White
  • Paul Maxim


The labour market outcomes of Aboriginal postsecondary graduates have received very little attention in the research literature. The purpose of this paper is to build on the existing research in the area by investigating the early earnings and employment outcomes of male and female Aboriginals with various postsecondary credentials (i.e., trades, college, and university), and compare their outcomes with those of visible minorities and the rest of the population. The results of this study show that visible-minority postsecondary graduates earn more than do Aboriginals and non-minorities. However, when controlling for socio-demographic characteristics and type of postsecondary attainment (i.e., level of schooling and field of study), Aboriginals earn more than both non-minorities and visible minorities. The extent of these earnings differences depends on both gender and level of schooling. Despite their relatively favourable earnings outcomes, Aboriginal postsecondary graduates generally experience poorer employment prospects. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • David Walters & Jerry White & Paul Maxim, 2004. "Does Postsecondary Education Benefit Aboriginal Canadians? An Examination of Earnings and Employment Outcomes for Recent Aboriginal Graduates," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 30(3), pages 283-302, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:30:y:2004:i:3:p:283-302

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Helmar Drost, 1994. "Schooling, Vocational Training and Unemployment: The Case of Canadian Aboriginals," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 20(1), pages 52-65, March.
    2. Duncan, Kevin C. & Prus, Mark J. & Sandy, Jonathan G., 1993. "Marital status, children and women's labor market choices," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 277-288.
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    Cited by:

    1. Belayet Hossain & Laura Lamb, 2012. "The Impact of Human and Social Capital on Aboriginal Employment Income in Canada," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 31(4), pages 440-450, December.

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