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Revisiting Canada's Brain Drain: Evidence from the 2000 Cohort of Canadian University Graduates

  • David Zarifa
  • David Walters
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    Existing studies on Canada's brain drain have established the importance of income gains as a critical factor that motivates individuals to move to the United States. It remains unclear, however, how sizable the earnings gap may be for recent post-secondary graduates and whether or not this gap varies by the field of study of the most common drainers. Drawing on the most recent National Graduates Survey (NGS), this study compares the early labour market earnings of the 2000 cohort of university graduates who remained in Canada to their counterparts who obtained employment in the United States. Our results indicate that only a small proportion of this cohort migrated south of the border, yet the great majority of these migrants are heavily concentrated in only a few knowledge-economy fields. Annual earnings are significantly higher for all individuals who relocated to the United States. Moreover, these differences are most salient among undergraduate engineers and computer scientists.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/cpp.34.3.305
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    Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 305-320

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    Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:34:y:2008:i:3:p:305-320
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    1. Louka T. Katseli & Robert E.B. Lucas & Theodora Xenogiani, 2006. "Effects of Migration on Sending Countries: What Do We Know?," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 250, OECD Publishing.
    2. Finnie, Ross & Frenette, Marc, 2003. "Earning differences by major field of study: evidence from three cohorts of recent Canadian graduates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 179-192, April.
    3. Helliwell, J.F., 1999. "Checking the Brain Drain: Evidence and Implications," Papers 99-3, Institute for Policy Analysis.
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