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Reverse assimilation? Immigrants in the Canadian labour market during the Great Depression

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  • Inwood, Kris
  • Minns, Chris
  • Summerfield, Fraser

Abstract

This paper uses Canadian census data from 1911 to 1931 to trace the labour market assimilation of immigrants up to the onset of the Great Depression. We find that substantial earnings convergence between 1911 and 1921 was reversed between 1921 and 1931, with immigrants from Continental Europe experiencing a sharp decline in earnings relative to the native-born. The effect of Depression labour market conditions was particularly pronounced among older immigrants with long tenures in Canada.

Suggested Citation

  • Inwood, Kris & Minns, Chris & Summerfield, Fraser, 2016. "Reverse assimilation? Immigrants in the Canadian labour market during the Great Depression," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 101584, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:101584
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    2. Alex Armstrong & Frank D. Lewis, 2017. "Transatlantic wage gaps and the migration decision: Europe–Canada in the 1920s," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 11(2), pages 153-182, May.
    3. Inwood, Kris & Minns, Chris & Summerfield, Fraser, 2019. "Occupational income scores and immigrant assimilation. Evidence from the Canadian census," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 114-122.
    4. Gillian C. Hamilton & Ian Keay & Frank D. Lewis, 2017. "Contributions to Canadian economic history: The last 30 years," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1632-1657, December.
    5. Zachary Ward, 2016. "The Role of English Fluency in Migrant Assimilation: Evidence from United States History," CEH Discussion Papers 049, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    6. Escamilla-Guerrero, David & Kosack, Edward & Ward, Zachary, 2021. "Life after crossing the border: Assimilation during the first Mexican mass migration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    7. Jason Dean & Vincent Geloso, 2022. "The linguistic wage gap in Quebec, 1901 to 1951," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 16(3), pages 615-637, September.
    8. Eriksson, Katherine & Ward, Zachary, 2022. "Immigrants and cities during the age of mass migration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    9. Hoogenboom, Marcel & Kissane, Christopher & Prak, Maarten & Wallis, Patrick & Minns, Chris, 2018. "Guilds in the transition to modernity: the cases of Germany, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 87476, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Timothy J Hatton & Zachary Ward, 2018. "International Migration in the Atlantic Economy 1850 - 1940," CEH Discussion Papers 02, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

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    JEL classification:

    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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