The Labour Market and Economic Performance of Canada’s First Nations Reserves: The Effect of Educational Attainment and Remoteness
The goal of this report is to investigate the relationship between educational attainment, remoteness, and labour market and economic performance at the reserve level for Aboriginal Canadians. The report uses reserve-level data on average earnings, GDP per capita, labour market indicators and distance to a service centre for 312 reserves. Using descriptive statistics, simple correlation and multiple regression analysis, the report draws conclusion on four important questions. First, the report finds that a higher level of educational attainment, on average, has a positive effect on the labour market performance of a reserve. Then, a positive link is found between educational attainment and economic performance (average earnings and GDP per capita). Also, the report finds evidence that remoteness of a reserve plays a role in its labour market and economic performance. Specifically, reserves situated near urban centres fare better than the ones in rural/remote areas and those not connected by road to a service centre all year long (special access). However, when controlling for characteristics of reserves, the very remote reserves seem to fare better than expected in comparison to urban reserves. Yet, when an instrumental variable is used to account for the possibility that educational attainment is endogenous in the model, the remoteness of a reserve appears to play no role in determining reserve labour market or economic performance. Finally, the report also analyses the role of governance on labour market and economic performance. It finds that better governance is correlated to better labour market performance, higher average earnings and higher GDP per capita.
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