Do Highly Educated Immigrants Perform Differently in the Canadian and U.S. Labour Markets?
This paper compares changes in wages of university-educated new immigrant workers in Canada and in the U.S. over the period from 1980 to 2005, relative to those of their domestic-born counterparts and to those of high school graduates (university wage premium). Wages of university-educated new immigrant men declined relative to those of domestic-born university graduates over the entire study period in Canada, but rose between 1990 and 2000 in the U.S. The characteristics of entering immigrants underwent more change in Canada than in the U.S. over the 1980-to-2005 period; as a result, compositional changes in the immigrant population had a larger negative effect on the outcomes of highly educated immigrants in Canada than in the U.S. However, even after accounting for such compositional shifts, most of the discrepancy in relative earnings outcomes between immigrants to Canada and immigrants to the U.S. persisted. The university premium for new immigrants was fairly similar in both countries in 1980, but by 2000 was considerably higher in the U.S. than in Canada, especially for men.
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