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Interprovincial Migration in Canada: Implications for Output and Productivity Growth, 1987-2014


  • Matthew Calver


  • Roland Tusz
  • Erika Rodrigues


There were slightly more than 300,000 interprovincial migrants in Canadain 2014, representing 0.85 per cent of the population. Interprovincial migrationprovidessignificant economic benefits by reallocating labour from low-productivity regions with high unemployment to high productivity regions with low unemployment.A previous report released by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards estimated the impact of net interprovincial migration on aggregate output and productivity between 1987 and 2006.This study uses the same basicmethodology to provide updated estimates, which is extendedto estimatethe long-term effects.We estimatethat interprovincial migration raised GDP by $1.23 billion (chained 2007 dollars) in 2014, or 0.071 per cent of GDP. This may seem like a small amount, but migration flows are often persistent. We estimate that cumulative net migration flows over the 1987-2014 period increased GDP by $15.8 billion dollars(0.9 per cent of GDP) in 2014and generatedcumulative benefits of $146 billionover the 1987-2014 period.Mostof these gains can be attributed tomigration toAlbertaand British Columbia, which areby far the largest destinationsof net interprovincial migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Calver & Roland Tusz & Erika Rodrigues, 2015. "Interprovincial Migration in Canada: Implications for Output and Productivity Growth, 1987-2014," CSLS Research Reports 2015-19, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:1519

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Amirault & Daniel de Munnik & Sarah Miller, 2013. "Explaining Canada’s Regional Migration Patterns," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2013(Spring), pages 16-28.
    2. Grady, Patrick & Macmillan, Kathleen, 2007. "Interprovincial Barriers to Labour Mobility in Canada:Policy, Knowledge Gaps and Research Issues," MPRA Paper 2988, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Evan Capeluck, 2014. "Convergence Across Provincial Economies in Canada: Trends, Drivers, and Implications," CSLS Research Reports 2014-03, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    4. Harberger, Arnold C, 1998. "A Vision of the Growth Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 1-32, March.
    5. Syed Basher & S. Fachin, 2008. "The long-term decline of internal migration in Canada: the case of Ontario," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 171-181, December.
    6. Lars Osberg & Daniel V. Gordon & Zhengxi Lin, 1994. "Interregional Migration and Interindustry Labour Mobility in Canada: A Simultaneous Approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 58-80, February.
    7. Serge Coulombe, 2006. "Internal Migration, Asymmetric Shocks, and Interprovincial Economic Adjustments in Canada," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 29(2), pages 199-223, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Murray, 2017. "The Effect of Import Competition on Employment in Canada: Evidence from the 'China Shock'," CSLS Research Reports 2017-03, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

    More about this item


    Migration; Interprovincial Migration; Canada; Output; Productivity; Output Growth; Productivity Growth;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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