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The Structure of Canada`s Immigration System and Canadian Labour Market Outcomes


  • Arthur Sweetman

    () (Department of Economics, McMaster University)

  • Casey Warman

    () (Department of Economics, Queen`s University)


Two distinct issues are addressed. First, we explore earnings and employment outcome differences across categories of the immigrant selection system and directly link the points system to these outcomes, which is relatively rare in Canadian research. Second, the appropriateness of alternative approaches to selecting the sample for analysis and defining the dependent variable(s) are investigated to determine their relevance for answering different policy questions. Appreciable differences in outcomes across immigrant categories are observed with, as expected, the economic class having superior earnings in the long run. However, employment in some categories is comparable to, or higher than, that of the economic class, especially in the short run. Notably, privately sponsored refugees have relatively good outcomes, particularly in the short run and for employment. Their outcomes are particularly strong conditional on observed characteristics and plausibly point to the value of local information and networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Arthur Sweetman & Casey Warman, 2012. "The Structure of Canada`s Immigration System and Canadian Labour Market Outcomes," Working Papers 1292, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1292

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abbott, Michael & Beach, Charles M., 2009. "Immigrant Earnings Distributions and Earnings Mobility in Canada: Evidence for the 1982 Landing Cohort from IMDB Micro Data," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-22, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 13 Mar 2009.
    2. Abbott, Michael G. & Beach, Charles M., 2011. "Immigrant Earnings Differences Across Admission Categories and Landing Cohorts in Canada," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-20, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 21 Aug 2011.
    3. Statistics Canada, 2005. "The Deteriorating Economic Welfare of Immigrants and Possible Causes: Update 2005," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005262e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    4. Abdurrahman Aydemir, 2011. "Immigrant selection and short-term labor market outcomes by visa category," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 451-475, April.
    5. Charles M. Beach & Christopher Worswick, 2011. "Toward Improving Canada's Skilled Immigration Policy: An Evaluation Approach," C.D. Howe Institute Policy Studies, C.D. Howe Institute, number 20111, January.
    6. Abbott, Michael G & Beach, Charles M, 1992. "Immigrant Earnings Differentials in Canada: A More General Specification of Age and Experience Effects," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 221-238.
    7. repec:eme:rleczz:s0147-9121(07)00009-x is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Michael G. Abbott & Charles M. Beach, 1993. "Immigrant Earnings Differentials and Birth-Year Effects for Men in Canada: Post-war-1972," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 505-524, August.
    9. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Mikal Skuterud, 2005. "Explaining the deteriorating entry earnings of Canada's immigrant cohorts, 1966 - 2000," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 641-672, May.
    10. Antecol, Heather & Kuhn, Peter J. & Trejo, Stephen, 2003. "Assimilation via Prices or Quantities? Labor Market Institutions and Immigrant Earnings Growth in Australia, Canada, and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 802, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Charles M. Beach & Christopher Worswick, 1993. "Is There a Double-Negative Effect on the Earnings of Immigrant Women?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 19(1), pages 36-53, March.
    12. Joseph Schaafsma & Arthur Sweetman, 2001. "Immigrant earnings: age at immigration matters," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1066-1099, November.
    13. Charles Beach & Alan G. Green & Christopher Worswick, 2006. "Impacts of the Point System and Immigration Policy Levers on Skill Characteristics of Canadian Immigrants," Working Papers 1115, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item


    Immigration Class; Point System; Canada;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • 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
    • 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

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