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Overeducated Immigrants in the Canadian Labour Market: Evidence from the Workplace and Employee Survey

  • Steven Wald
  • Tony Fang

This paper addresses the overeducation of recent immigrants in the Canadian labour market. Data from the 1999 Workplace and Employee Survey are used to explore the determinants and earnings consequences of overeducation. Although a well-developed body of literature examines the earnings consequences of overeduca tion, this paper presents the first Canadian estimates of returns to years of schooling that are contingent upon perceived job requirements. Compared with Canadian-born workers, recent immigrants are found to have a relatively high incidence of overeducation and to earn relatively low returns for surplus schooling. These are shown to be major contributors to the earnings gap between recent immigrants and workers born in Canada.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/cpp.34.4.457
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Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 34 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 457-480

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:34:y:2008:i:4:p:457-480
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  1. Green, Colin & Kler, Parvinder & Leeves, Gareth, 2007. "Immigrant overeducation: Evidence from recent arrivals to Australia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 420-432, August.
  2. Sweetman, Arthur, 2004. "Immigrant Source Country Educational Quality and Canadian Labour Market Outcomes," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004234e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  3. 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.
  4. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Mikal Skuterud, 2005. "Explaining the deteriorating entry earnings of Canada's immigrant cohorts, 1966 - 2000," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 641-672, May.
  5. Christopher Dougherty, 2005. "Why Are the Returns to Schooling Higher for Women than for Men?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(4), pages 969-988.
  6. Hersch, Joni, 1991. "Education Match and Job Match," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 140-44, February.
  7. Séamus McGuinness, 2006. "Overeducation in the Labour Market," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 387-418, 07.
  8. Ana Ferrer & David A. Green & W. Craig Riddell, 2006. "The Effect of Literacy on Immigrant Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
  9. Frenette, Marc, 2004. "The overqualified Canadian graduate: the role of the academic program in the incidence, persistence, and economic returns to overqualification," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 29-45, February.
  10. Daly, Mary C. & Buchel, Felix & Duncan, Greg J., 2000. "Premiums and penalties for surplus and deficit education: Evidence from the United States and Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 169-178, April.
  11. Hartog, Joop, 2000. "Over-education and earnings: where are we, where should we go?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 131-147, April.
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