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The Skills of Female Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States

  • Heather Antecol

    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

    (Australian National University)

  • Stephen J. Trejo

    (University of Texas)

Census data for 1990/91 indicate that Australian and Canadian female immigrants appear to have higher levels of English fluency, education, and income (relative to natives) than do U.S. female immigrants. This skill deficit for U.S. female immigrants arises in large part because the United States receives a much larger share of immigrants from Latin America than do the other two countries. However, even among women originating outside Latin America, the proportion of foreign-born women in the United States who are fluent in English is much lower than among foreign-born women in Australia. Furthermore, immigrant/native education gaps are reduced but not eliminated by the exclusion of Latin American women from the analysis. In contrast, other evidence for men suggests that the gap in observed skills among male immigrants to the United States is completely eliminated when Latin American immigrants are excluded from the estimation sample (Borjas, 1993; Antecol, et al., 2001). The importance of national origin and the general consistency in the results for men (who are routinely subjected to the selection criteria of various immigration programs) and women (who are not) suggests that many factors other than immigration policy per se are at work in producing skill variation among these three immigration streams.

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Paper provided by Claremont Colleges in its series Claremont Colleges Working Papers with number 2001-12.

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Date of creation: Apr 2001
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Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2001-12
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  1. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  2. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Trejo, Stephen, 2001. "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 363, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Robert F. Schoeni, 1998. "Labor Market Assimilation of Immigrant Women," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(3), pages 483-504, April.
  4. Barry R. Chiswick, 1987. "Immigration Policy, Source Countries and Immigrant Skills: Australia, Canada and the United States," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 45, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  5. Manski, C.F., 1990. "The Selection Problem," Working papers 90-12, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  6. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Immigration Policy, National Origin, and Immigrant Skills: A Comparison of Canada and the United States," NBER Working Papers 3691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Charles F. Manski, 1989. "Anatomy of the Selection Problem," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 343-360.
  8. Robert F. Schoeni, 1998. "Labor market assimilation of immigrant women," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(3), pages 483-504, April.
  9. 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 1006-41, November.
  10. Monica Boyd, 1976. "Immigration policies and trends: A comparison of Canada and the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 83-104, February.
  11. Geoffrey Carliner, 1995. "The Language Ability of U.S. Immigrants: Assimilation and Cohort Effects," NBER Working Papers 5222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Wright, Robert E & Maxim, Paul S, 1993. "Immigration Policy and Immigrant Quality: Empirical Evidence from Canada," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 337-52, November.
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