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Growth and Change in Human Capital across the Canadian Urban Hierarchy, 1996—2001


  • W. Mark Brown

    (Economic Analysis Division, Statistics Canada, 100 Tunney's Pasture Driveway, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6, Canada,

  • K. Bruce Newbold

    (School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1, Canada,

  • Desmond Beckstead

    (Economic Analysis Division, Statistics Canada, 100 Tunney's Pasture Driveway, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6, Canada,


University degree holders in large cities are more prevalent and are growing at a more rapid pace than in smaller cities and rural areas. This relatively high rate of growth stems from net migratory flows and/or higher rates of degree attainment in large cities. Using data from the 1996 and 2001 Canadian censuses, this paper tests the relative importance of these two sources of human capital growth by decomposing degree-holder growth across cities into net migratory flows (domestic and foreign) and in situ growth: that is, growth resulting from higher rates of degree attainment among the resident populations of cities. It is found that both sources are important. Hence, it is the ability of cities both to attract and to generate degree holders that underlies the high rates of degree attainment observed across city populations.

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  • W. Mark Brown & K. Bruce Newbold & Desmond Beckstead, 2010. "Growth and Change in Human Capital across the Canadian Urban Hierarchy, 1996—2001," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 47(7), pages 1571-1586, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:47:y:2010:i:7:p:1571-1586

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. K. Newbold, 2012. "Migration and regional science: opportunities and challenges in a changing environment," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(2), pages 451-468, April.
    2. M. Olfert & Murray Jelinski & Dimitrios Zikos & John Campbell, 2012. "Human capital drift up the urban hierarchy: veterinarians in Western Canada," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 49(2), pages 551-570, October.
    3. W. Mark Brown & Darren M. Scott, 2012. "Human Capital Location Choice: Accounting For Amenities And Thick Labor Markets," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(5), pages 787-808, December.
    4. K. Bruce Newbold & W. Mark Brown, 2015. "The Urban–Rural Gap In University Attendance: Determinants Of University Participation Among Canadian Youth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 585-608, September.

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