IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Canada-US Comparison of Labour Market Outcomes among Highly Educated Immigrants


  • Aneta Bonikowska
  • Feng Hou
  • Garnett Picot


This paper compares changes in relative wages of university educated new immigrant workers in Canada and the United States over the period 1980-2005 and finds that outcomes were generally superior in the United States. Wages of university educated new immigrants declined relative to domestic born university graduates over the study period in Canada but rose between 1990 and 2000 in the United States. The university wage premium for new immigrants was similar in both countries in 1980 but by 2000 was considerably higher in the United States. Accounting for compositional shifts did not alter these basic results.

Suggested Citation

  • Aneta Bonikowska & Feng Hou & Garnett Picot, 2011. "A Canada-US Comparison of Labour Market Outcomes among Highly Educated Immigrants," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 37(1), pages 25-48, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:37:y:2011:i:1:p:25-48

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: access restricted to subscribers

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Aamir Hashmi, 2007. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Dynamic Analysis of the Global Automobile Industry," 2007 Meeting Papers 362, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Ian King & R. Preston McAfee & Linda Welling, 1993. "Industrial Blackmail: Dynamic Tax Competition and Public Investment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 590-608, August.
    3. Michael Greenstone & Richard Hornbeck & Enrico Moretti, 2008. "Identifying Agglomeration Spillovers: Evidence from Million Dollar Plants," Working Paper series 36_08, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    4. Michael Greenstone & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Bidding for Industrial Plants: Does Winning a 'Million Dollar Plant' Increase Welfare?," NBER Working Papers 9844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1981. "Tariffs and the Extraction of Foreign Monopoly Rents under Potential Entry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 14(3), pages 371-389, August.
    6. Holmes, Thomas J., 1999. "How Industries Migrate When Agglomeration Economies Are Important," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 240-263, March.
    7. Blomström, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 2003. "The Economics of Foreign Direct Investment Incentives," EIJS Working Paper Series 168, Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
    8. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    9. Neven, Damien & Siotis, Georges, 1993. "Foreign Direct Investment in the European Community: Some Policy Issues," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 72-93, Summer.
    10. Aamir Rafique Hashmi & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2016. "The Relationship between Market Structure and Innovation in Industry Equilibrium: A Case Study of the Global Automobile Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 192-208, March.
    11. Edward L. Glaeser, 2001. "The Economics of Location-Based Tax Incentives," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1932, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    12. Barros, Pedro P & Cabral, Luis, 2000. "Competing for Foreign Direct Investment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 360-371, May.
    13. Black, Dan A & Hoyt, William H, 1989. "Bidding for Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1249-1256, December.
    14. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-528, June.
    15. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2008. "Governments at the bidding table," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 213-232.
    16. Helper, Susan, 1991. "Strategy and Irreversibility in Supplier Relations: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 781-824, December.
    17. Head, C. Keith & Ries, John C. & Swenson, Deborah L., 1999. "Attracting foreign manufacturing: Investment promotion and agglomeration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 197-218, March.
    18. Maureen Appel Molot, 2005. "Location Incentives and Inter-state Competition for FDI: Bidding Wars in the Automotive Industry," Chapters,in: Governance, Multinationals and Growth, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Bev Dahlby, 2005. "A Framework for Evaluating Provincial R&D Tax Subsidies," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 31(1), pages 45-58, March.
    20. Thomas H. Klier, 1999. "Agglomeration in the U.S. auto supplier industry," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 18-34.
    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. Neeraj Kaushal & Yao Lu & Nicole Denier & Julia Shu-Huah Wang & Stephen J. Trejo, 2016. "Immigrant employment and earnings growth in Canada and the USA: evidence from longitudinal data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 1249-1277, October.
    2. Michele Campolieti & Morley Gunderson & Olga Timofeeva & Evguenia Tsiroulnitchenko, 2013. "Immigrant Assimilation, Canada 1971–2006: Has the Tide Turned?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 455-475, December.
    3. repec:spr:izamig:v:7:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40176-017-0091-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jennifer Elrick & Naomi Lightman, 2016. "Sorting or Shaping? The Gendered Economic Outcomes of Immigration Policy in Canada," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 352-384, June.
    5. Hou, Feng & Picot, Garnett, 2010. "Preparing for Success in Canada and the United States: the Determinants of Educational Attainment Among the Children of Immigrants," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2010-13, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 30 Apr 2010.
    6. Adserà, Alícia & Ferrer, Ana, 2016. "Occupational skills and labour market progression of married immigrant women in Canada," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 88-98.
    7. Hou, Feng & Picot, Garnett, 2009. "Seeking Success in Canada and the United States: the Determinants of Labour Market Outcomes Among the Children of Immigrants," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-63, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2009.
    8. Alicia Adsera & Ana Ferrer, 2015. "Occupational Skills and Labour Market Progression of Canadian Immigrant Women," Working Papers 1504, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2015.

    More about this item


    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:cpp:issued:v:37:y:2011:i:1:p:25-48. 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.