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Immigration and Innovation: Evidence from Canadian Cities

Author

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  • Blit, Joel

    () (University of Waterloo)

  • Skuterud, Mikal

    () (University of Waterloo)

  • Zhang, Jue

    () (University of Waterloo)

Abstract

We examine the effect of changes in skilled-immigrant population shares in 98 Canadian cities between 1981 and 2006 on per capita patents. The Canadian case is of interest because its 'points system' for selecting immigrants is viewed as a model of skilled immigration policy. Our estimates suggest unambiguously smaller beneficial impacts of increasing the university-educated immigrant population share than comparable U.S. estimates, whereas our estimates of the contribution of Canadian-born university graduates are virtually identical in magnitude to the U.S. estimates. The modest contribution of Canadian immigrants to innovation is, in large part, explained by the low employment rates of Canadian STEM-educated immigrants in STEM jobs. Our results point to the value of providing employers with a role in the immigrant screening process.

Suggested Citation

  • Blit, Joel & Skuterud, Mikal & Zhang, Jue, 2017. "Immigration and Innovation: Evidence from Canadian Cities," IZA Discussion Papers 10689, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10689
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mikal Skuterud & Mingcui Su, 2012. "The influence of measurement error and unobserved heterogeneity in estimating immigrant returns to foreign and host-country sources of human capital," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 1109-1141, December.
    2. Andrew Clarke & Mikal Skuterud, 2013. "Why do immigrant workers in Australia perform better than those in Canada? Is it the immigrants or their labour markets?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1431-1462, November.
    3. Green, David A. & Worswick, Christopher, 2012. "Immigrant earnings profiles in the presence of human capital investment: Measuring cohort and macro effects," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 241-259.
    4. Ceren Ozgen & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2012. "Immigration and innovation in European regions," Chapters,in: Migration Impact Assessment, chapter 8, pages 261-298 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
    6. Philip Oreopoulos, 2011. "Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Thirteen Thousand Resumes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 148-171, November.
    7. Beckstead, Desmond & Gellatly, Guy, 2006. "Innovation Capabilities: Science and Engineering Employment in Canada and the United States," The Canadian Economy in Transition 2006011e, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis Division.
    8. Andrew Clarke & Mikal Skuterud, 2016. "A comparative analysis of immigrant skills and their utilization in Australia, Canada, and the USA," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 849-882, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; innovation; immigration policy;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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