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The role of credentials in the Canadian labour market


  • Ana M. Ferrer
  • W. Craig Riddell


We study the role of credentials or ‘sheepskin effects’ in the Canadian labour market. Sheepskin effects refer to increases in wages associated with the receipt of a degree after controlling for educational inputs such as years of schooling. We find strong evidence of sheepskin effects associated with graduation from high school, community college or trade school, and university. The importance of credentials increases with educational attainment, accounting for 30 per cent of the return to 16 years of schooling but more than half of returns above 16 years. Our evidence indicates that both years of schooling and degree completion influence earnings. JEL Classification: I2, J3 Le rôle des certificats dans le marché du travail au Canada. Les auteurs étudient le rôle des certificats ou des «effets de parchemin» dans le marché du travail au Canada. Les effets de parchemin font référence aux augmentations de salaires associées à l’obtention d’un diplôme ou d’un grade après avoir pris en compte l’expérience éducationnelle comme les années d'éducation. On découvre des résultats probants pour ce qui est des effets de parchemin associés à l’obtention d’un diplôme d'école secondaire, de collège communautaire, d'école technique, et d’université. L’importance de la certification augmente avec le niveau d’instruction : elle compte pour 30 pourcent du rendement pour 16 années de scolarité mais pour plus de la moitié des rendements pour la scolarité au delà de ces premiers 16 ans. Les résultats indiquent que tant les années de scolarité que la certification comme telle ont un impact sur les gains.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana M. Ferrer & W. Craig Riddell, 2002. "The role of credentials in the Canadian labour market," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 35(4), pages 879-905, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:canjec:v:35:y:2002:i:4:p:879-905
    DOI: 10.1111/0008-4085.00158

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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs


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