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Canada's Immigration Selection System and Labour Market Outcomes


  • Arthur Sweetman
  • Casey Warman


Earnings and employment differences across categories of the immigrant selection system are explored with links to the points system. Additionally, alternative approaches to analysis are discussed with respect to their relevance for different policy questions. Appreciable outcome gaps across immigrant categories are observed, but with important differences in interpretation following from alternative approaches to specifying the sample and methodology for analysis. As expected, members of the economic class have superior earnings in the long run; however, employment in other immigration classes is sometimes comparable or higher. Notably, privately sponsored refugees have relatively good outcomes, particularly in the short run.

Suggested Citation

  • Arthur Sweetman & Casey Warman, 2013. "Canada's Immigration Selection System and Labour Market Outcomes," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 39(s1), pages 141-160, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:39:y:2013:i:s1:p:141-160

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard A. Wanner, 2003. "Entry Class and the Earnings Attainment of Immigrants to Canada, 1980­1995," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(1), pages 53-71, March.
    2. Robinson, Peter M, 1988. "Root- N-Consistent Semiparametric Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 931-954, July.
    3. Garnett Picot & Patrizio Piraino, 2013. "Immigrant earnings growth: selection bias or real progress?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1510-1536, November.
    4. Statistics Canada, 2005. "The Deteriorating Economic Welfare of Immigrants and Possible Causes: Update 2005," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005262e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    5. Gustave Goldmann & Arthur Sweetman & Casey Warman, 2011. "The Portability of New Immigrants' Human Capital: Language, Education and Occupational Matching," Working Papers 1271, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    6. 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.
    7. Casey Warman, 2007. "Ethnic enclaves and immigrant earnings growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 401-422, May.
    8. Alan G. Green & David A. Green, 1995. "Canadian Immigration Policy: The Effectiveness of the Point System and Other Instruments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4b), pages 1006-1041, November.
    9. Charles M. Beach & Christopher Worswick, 1993. "Is There a Double-Negative Effect on the Earnings of Immigrant Women?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 19(1), pages 36-53, March.
    10. 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.
    11. Charles Beach & Alan G. Green & Christopher Worswick, 2006. "Impacts of the Point System and Immigration Policy Levers on Skill Characteristics of Canadian Immigrants," Working Papers 1115, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    12. Abdurrahman Aydemir, 2011. "Immigrant selection and short-term labor market outcomes by visa category," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 451-475, April.
    13. Abbott, Michael G & Beach, Charles M, 1992. "Immigrant Earnings Differentials in Canada: A More General Specification of Age and Experience Effects," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 221-238.
    14. Ferrer, Ana M. & Picot, Garnett & Riddell, W. Craig, 2012. "New Directions in Immigration Policy: Canada’s Evolving Approach to Immigration Selection," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2012-34, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 30 Nov 2012.
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    Cited by:

    1. Justin van de Ven & Sarah Voitchovsky, 2015. "Skilled migrants and labour market integration: how important is the selection process?," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-28, December.
    2. Audra J. Bowlus & Masashi Miyairi & Chris Robinson, 2016. "Immigrant job search assimilation in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 49(1), pages 5-51, February.
    3. Warman, Casey & Worswick, Christopher, 2014. "Technological Change and Declining Immigrant Outcomes, Implications for Income Inequality in Canada," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2014-51, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Nov 2014.

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