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First and Second Generation Immigrant Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes: A Comparison of the United States and Canada

Author

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  • Aydemir, Abdurrahman

    () (Sabanci University)

  • Sweetman, Arthur

    () (McMaster University)

Abstract

The educational and labor market outcomes of the first, first-and-a-half, second and third generations of immigrants to the United States and Canada are compared. These countries’ immigration flows have large differences in source countries, scale and timing, and Canada has a much larger policy emphasis on skilled workers. Following from these, the educational attainment of US immigrants is currently lower than that in Canada and the intergenerational transmission of education is expected to cause the gap to grow. This in turn influences earnings. Controlling only for age, the current US second generation has earnings comparable to those of the third, while earnings are higher for the second generation in Canada. Interestingly, the positive wage gap in favour of first-and-a-half and second generation immigrants in Canada is exceeded by the gap in educational attainment, but a lower immigrant rate of return attenuates education’s impact. Moreover, observable characteristics explain little of the difference in earnings outcomes across generations in the US but their introduction into an earnings equation causes the Canadian second generation premium to switch signs and become negative relative to the third.

Suggested Citation

  • Aydemir, Abdurrahman & Sweetman, Arthur, 2006. "First and Second Generation Immigrant Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes: A Comparison of the United States and Canada," IZA Discussion Papers 2298, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2298
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan G. Green & David A. Green, 1999. "The Economic Goals of Canada's Immigration Policy, Past and Present," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(4), pages 425-451, December.
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    12. Barry R. Chiswick, 1988. "Differences in Education and Earnings Across Racial and Ethnic Groups: Tastes, Discrimination, and Investments in Child Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 571-597.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefani Schurer, 2008. "Labour Market Outcomes of Second Generation Immigrants: How Heterogeneous Are They Really?," Ruhr Economic Papers 0057, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0057 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ran Abramitzky & Victor Lavy, 2014. "How Responsive Is Investment in Schooling to Changes in Redistributive Policies and in Returns?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(4), pages 1241-1272, July.
    4. Abdurrahman Aydemir, 2013. "Skill-based immigrant selection and labor market outcomes by visa category," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 23, pages 432-452 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Picot, Garnett & Sweetman, Arthur, 2011. "Canadian Immigration Policy and Immigrant Economic Outcomes: Why the Differences in Outcomes between Sweden and Canada?," IZA Policy Papers 25, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Kevin Milligan, 2009. "O Sister, Where Art Thou? The Role of Son Preference and Sex Choice: Evidence from Immigrants to Canada," NBER Working Papers 15391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Carmen Aina & Giorgia Casalone & Paolo Ghinetti, 2008. "Internal Geographical Mobility And Educational Outcomes. An Analysis For An Italian Province," Working Papers 120, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
    8. Kucera, Miroslav, 2008. "The Educational Attainment of Second Generation Immigrants in Canada: Analysis based on the General Social Survey," MPRA Paper 14036, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Stefanie Schurer, 2008. "Labour Market Outcomes of Second Generation Immigrants: How Heterogeneous Are They Really?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2008n14, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    10. George Messinis, 2009. "Earnings and Languages in the Family: Second-Generation Australians," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 85(s1), pages 59-73, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    United States; immigration; second generation; Canada; education;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other

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