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The Evolution of the Returns to Human Capital in Canada, 1980-2005

Author

Listed:
  • Boudarbat, Brahim

    () (University of Montreal)

  • Lemieux, Thomas

    () (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)

  • Riddell, W. Craig

    () (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)

Abstract

We examine the evolution of the returns to human capital in Canada over the period 1980-2005. Our main finding is that returns to education increased substantially for Canadian men, contrary to conclusions reached previously. Most of this rise took place in the early 1980s and since 1995. Returns to education also rose, albeit more modestly, for Canadian women. Another important development is that after years of expansion, the wage gap between younger and older workers stabilized after 1995. Controlling for work experience and using Canadian Census data appear to account for the main differences between our results and earlier findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Boudarbat, Brahim & Lemieux, Thomas & Riddell, W. Craig, 2010. "The Evolution of the Returns to Human Capital in Canada, 1980-2005," IZA Discussion Papers 4809, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4809
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ferrer, Ana M. & Menendez, Alicia, 2009. "The Returns to Flexible Postsecondary Education: The Effect of Delaying School," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-26, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 15 Mar 2009.
    2. Markus Moos, 2014. "Generational Dimensions of Neoliberal and Post-Fordist Restructuring: The Changing Characteristics of Young Adults and Growing Income Inequality in Montreal and Vancouver," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(6), pages 2078-2102, November.
    3. Gimenez-Nadal, Jose Ignacio & Sevilla, Almudena, 2012. "Trends in time allocation: A cross-country analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1338-1359.
    4. Guido Matias Cortes, 2016. "Where Have the Middle-Wage Workers Gone? A Study of Polarization Using Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 63-105.
    5. Lemieux, Thomas & Riddell, W. Craig, 2015. "Top Incomes in Canada: Evidence from the Census," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2015-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 07 Jul 2015.
    6. Matthew Calver, 2015. "Closing the Aboriginal Education Gap in Canada: Assessing Progress and Estimating the Economic Benefits," CSLS Research Reports 2015-03, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    7. Lochner, Lance & Monge-Naranjo, Alexander, 2014. "Student Loans and Repayment: Theory, Evidence and Policy," Working Papers 2014-40, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 12 Nov 2014.
    8. Chiappero-Martinetti, Enrica & Sabadash, Anna, 2014. "Integrating Human Capital and Human Capabilities in Understanding the Value of Education," MPRA Paper 61800, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Osberg, Lars, 2013. "Instability implications of increasing inequality: Evidence from North America," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 918-930.
    10. René Morissette & Ping Ching Winnie Chan & Yuqian Lu, 2015. "Wages, Youth Employment, and School Enrollment: Recent Evidence from Increases in World Oil Prices," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 222-253.
    11. Morin, Louis-Philippe, 2015. "Cohort size and youth earnings: Evidence from a quasi-experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 99-111.
    12. Emanuelle Bourbeau & Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2011. "Provincial Returns to Education for 21 to 35 year-olds: Results from the 1991-2006 Canadian Analytic Censuses Files," Cahiers de recherche 1106, CIRPEE.
    13. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    14. Chan, Winnie & Lu, Yuqian & Morissette, Rene, 2014. "Wages, Youth Employment, and School Enrollment: Recent Evidence from Increases in World Oil Prices," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2014353e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    15. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Torres, Javier, 2016. "Foreign human capital and the earnings gap between immigrants and Canadian-born workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 104-119.
    16. Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde, 2014. "Can We Really Explain Worker Flows in Transition Economies?," Working Papers 2014-28, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    17. Matthew Calver, 2015. "Closing the Aboriginal Education Gap in Canada: The Impact on Employment, GDP, and Labour Productivity," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 28, pages 27-46, Spring.
    18. Maggie Jones, 2017. "Student Aid and the Distribution of Educational Attainment," Working Papers 1373, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    19. repec:bla:ecorec:v:92:y:2016:i:299:p:517-547 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Alexander Murray & Andrew Sharpe, 2011. "Human Capital and Productivity in British Columbia," CSLS Research Reports 2011-10, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; wage differentials; Canada;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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