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Human Capital and Earnings of Female Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Antecol, Heather

    () (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    () (University of Sydney)

  • Trejo, Stephen

    () (University of Texas at Austin)

Abstract

Census data for 1990/91 indicate that Australian and Canadian female immigrants have higher levels of English fluency, education (relative to native-born women), and income (relative to native-born women) than do U.S. female immigrants. A prominent explanation for this skill deficit of U.S. immigrant women is that the United States receives a much larger share of immigrants from Latin America than do the other two countries. Similar to previous findings for male immigrants, the apparent skill disadvantage of foreign-born women in the United States (relative to foreign-born women in Australia and Canada) shrinks dramatically once we exclude immigrants originating in Latin America. In all three countries, men are much more likely than women to gain admission on the basis of immigration criteria related to labor market considerations rather than family relationships. For this reason, we might expect that the stronger emphasis on skill-based admissions in Australia and Canada compared to the United States would have a larger impact on cross-country differences in the skill content of male rather than female immigration flows. Therefore, our findings of similar patterns for men and women and of the key role played by national origin both suggest that factors other than immigration policy per se are important contributors to the observed skill differences between immigrants to these three destination countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Trejo, Stephen, 2002. "Human Capital and Earnings of Female Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp575
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George J. Borjas, 1993. "Immigration Policy, National Origin, and Immigrant Skills: A Comparison of Canada and the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 21-44 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Stephen J. Trejo, 2003. "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(1).
    3. David Card & Richard B. Freeman, 1993. "Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number card93-1, January.
    4. Geoffrey Carliner, 1995. "The Language Ability of U.S. Immigrants: Assimilation and Cohort Effects," NBER Working Papers 5222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Monica Boyd, 1976. "Immigration policies and trends: A comparison of Canada and the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 13(1), pages 83-104, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Melissa L. Martinson & Marta Tienda, 2016. "Birthing, Nativity, and Maternal Depression: Australia and the United States," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 793-824, September.
    2. A. Zaiceva, 2007. "East-West migration and gender: Is there a "double disadvantage" vis-à-vis stayers?," Working Papers 608, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    3. Alicia Adsera & Barry Chiswick, 2007. "Are there gender and country of origin differences in immigrant labor market outcomes across European destinations?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 495-526, July.
    4. De Coulon, Augustin & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2008. "On the relative gains to immigration: a comparison of the labour market position of Indians in the USA, the UK and India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19634, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Augustin Coulon & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2010. "On the relative rewards to immigration: a comparison of the relative labour market position of Indians in the USA, the UK and India," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 147-169, March.
    6. Brian Duncan & Stephen Trejo, 2009. "Immigration and the U.S. Labor Market," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0908, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; female immigrants; immigration;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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