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Foreign-born vs Native-born Canadians: A Comparison of Their Inter-provincial Labour Mobility

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  • Lin, Zhengxi

Abstract

This paper investigates the inter-provincial labour mobility behaviour of immigrants relative to that of native-born Canadians. Foreign-born Canadians differ a great deal from their domestically-born counterparts. The foreign-born population is geographically concentrated in a few provinces and a few big cities. As a whole, they are older, better educated, more likely to be married, and more likely to have dependent children and bigger households. They are less active in participating in full-time education and training. They fare relatively better in the labour market. As a result, a higher proportion of them receive social security benefits that are directly tied to the presence of dependent children or age such as family allowance benefits and pension income, but a lower proportion receive benefits that are related to labour market performance such as employment insurance benefits and social assistance benefits. As a whole, immigrants are relatively less mobile inter-provincially. This is true both nationally and across almost every province. Among those who move to other provinces, destinations for foreign-born migrants are highly geographically concentrated. Most of them make their new homes in Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia. A significantly lower proportion of them relocate to other provinces for economic considerations but a much higher proportion move to go to school or after retirement. Earnings return to their inter-provincial migration is significantly more substantial. This is the result of both wage increase and more hours of work after migration. Multi-variate regression results show that there are no statistically significant structural differences in the determinants of inter-provincial migration decisions between comparable foreign- and native-born Canadians. The probability of moving to other provinces, for immigrants as well as for domestically-born Canadians, is higher if earnings potentials elsewhere are relatively higher, lower if it is relatively harder to find employment elsewhere, higher among better educated workers, lower among French-speaking Canadians, lower among union members, and decreases with age, family size and job tenure. None of the proxies for government's labour market interventions significantly affect the decision to move inter-provincially. The lower mobility rates among the foreign-born are fully attributable to distributional and compositional differences between the immigrant and non-immigrant populations. These findings have a direct policy implication on immigration selection. To encourage population and labour force growth in economically less prosperous provinces, it appears appropriate and effective to amend the current immigration selection and approval system, considering intended destinations as an additional factor and awarding additional points to applicants who choose designated provinces.

Suggested Citation

  • Lin, Zhengxi, 1998. "Foreign-born vs Native-born Canadians: A Comparison of Their Inter-provincial Labour Mobility," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998114e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:1998114e
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    File URL: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/olc-cel/olc.action?ObjId=11F0019M1998114&ObjType=46&lang=en&limit=0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
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    3. Chris Robinson & Nigel Tomes, 1982. "Self-Selection and Interprovincial Migration in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(3), pages 474-502, August.
    4. David E. Bloom & Gilles Grenier & Morley Gunderson, 1995. "The Changing Labour Market Position of Canadian Immigrants," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4b), pages 987-1005, November.
    5. Marr, William L. & Siklos, Pierre L., 1994. "The link between immigration and unemployment in Canada," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25, February.
    6. Michael Baker & Dwayne Benjamin, 1995. "The Receipt of Transfer Payments by Immigrants to Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 650-676.
    7. George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1996. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means-Tested Entitlement Programs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 575-604.
    8. 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.
    9. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
    10. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    11. Robert Moffitt, 1991. "Program Evaluation With Nonexperimental Data," Evaluation Review, , vol. 15(3), pages 291-314, June.
    12. Alan G. Green & David A. Green, 1995. "Canadian Immigration Policy: The Effectiveness of the Point System and Other Instruments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4b), pages 1006-1041, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lei Xu, 2007. "Characterization and Explanation of the 1996-2001 Inter-CMA Migration of the Second Generation in Canada," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 196, McMaster University.
    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.

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