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Quality of Work Experience and Economic Development—Estimates using Canadian Immigrant Data

Author

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  • Serge Coulombe

    () (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)

  • Gilles Grenier

    () (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)

  • Serge Nadeau

    () (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)

Abstract

There is increasing evidence in the economic development literature that the quality of schooling considerably varies across countries that are at different stages in their economic development. However, an issue that has been overlooked is the role of the quality of work experience in explaining differences in economic development. This paper uses Canadian census data on immigrant earnings to show that per capita GDP in the country of origin can be used as a quality indicator for both education and work experience. Coefficients estimated from immigrant earnings regressions are then used to estimate the effects of difference in human capital quality on development gaps between rich and poor countries. The analysis shows that while differences in the quality of schooling account for substantial differences in living standards across countries, differences in the quality of work experience can account for even more. Policywise, our results suggest that the immediate effects of improving the quality and the quantity of schooling in less-developed countries might be rather limited if labour-market institutions and ways of doing things are not changed at the same time to improve the quality of work experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Serge Coulombe & Gilles Grenier & Serge Nadeau, 2011. "Quality of Work Experience and Economic Development—Estimates using Canadian Immigrant Data," Working Papers 1109E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:1109e
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrés Erosa & Tatyana Koreshkova & Diego Restuccia, 2010. "How Important Is Human Capital? A Quantitative Theory Assessment of World Income Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1421-1449.
    2. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Doménech, 2006. "Human Capital in Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, March.
    3. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
    4. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters,in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    6. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 607-668, September.
    7. David Lagakos & Benjamin Moll & Tommaso Porzio & Nancy Qian & Todd Schoellman, 2018. "Life-Cycle Human Capital Accumulation across Countries: Lessons from US Immigrants," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 305-342.
    8. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, July.
    9. Serge Coulombe & Jean-Francois Tremblay, 2009. "Migration and Skills Disparities across the Canadian Provinces," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 5-18.
    10. Bloom, Nicholas & Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Human Resource Management and Productivity," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    11. Nicholas Bloom & Christos Genakos & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp1109, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    12. Coulombe Serge & Tremblay Jean-François, 2006. "Literacy and Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-34, August.
    13. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1962. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 155-173.
    14. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2009. "The international transferability of immigrants' human capital," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 162-169, April.
    15. Sweetman, Arthur, 2004. "Immigrant Source Country Educational Quality and Canadian Labour Market Outcomes," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004234e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    16. Serge Coulombe & Gilles Grenier & Serge Nadeau, 2012. "Human Capital Quality and the Immigrant Wage Gap," Working Papers 1212E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Serge Coulombe & Gilles Grenier & Serge Nadeau, 2012. "Human Capital Quality and the Immigrant Wage Gap," Working Papers 1212E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    2. ByeongHwa Choi & Volodymyr Lugovskyy, 2015. "Positive and Negative Effects of Financial Development on Export Prices," Caepr Working Papers 2015-020 Classification-F, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    3. Tommaso Porzio & Todd Schoellman & Nancy Qian & Benjamin Moll & David Lagakos, 2014. "Lifecycle Human Capital Accumulation Across Countries: Lessons From U.S. Immigrants," 2014 Meeting Papers 777, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Nong ZHU & Cécile BATISSE, 2016. "L’Évolution Des Inégalités De Revenu Entre Canadiens De Naissance Et Immigrés," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 44, pages 121-140.
    5. repec:ucp:jhucap:doi:10.1086/697245 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Quality of human capital; work experience; immigrant earnings; quality of schooling; economic development.;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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