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Immigrant Earnings Growth: Selection Bias or Real Progress?

  • Picot, Garnett
  • Piraino, Patrizio

We use longitudinal tax data linked to immigrant landing records to estimate the earnings growth of immigrants from three entering cohorts since the early 1980s. Selective attrition by low-earning immigrants might result in lower earnings growth with years since migration in longitudinal data compared to repeated cross-sections. Existing studies on U.S. data have found exactly this result (Lubotsky 2007, JPE). We ask whether a similar bias is observed in the Canadian data and find that it is not. We show that while low-earnings immigrants are more likely to leave the cross-sectional samples over time, the same is true for the Canadian born population. We conclude that there is no evidence of selective labour force participation patterns among immigrants in Canada compared to the native born population.

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File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2069%20-%20Picot%20and%20Piraino.pdf
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Paper provided by Vancouver School of Economics in its series CLSSRN working papers with number clsrn_admin-2010-35.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 28 Dec 2010
Date of revision: 28 Dec 2010
Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2010-35
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/

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  1. Harriet Duleep & Mark Regets, 1997. "Measuring immigrant wage growth using matched CPS files," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 239-249, May.
  2. Green, David A. & Worswick, Christopher, 2012. "Immigrant earnings profiles in the presence of human capital investment: Measuring cohort and macro effects," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 241-259.
  3. Per-Anders Edin & Robert J. LaLonde & Olof Aslund, 2000. "Emigration of Immigrants and Measures of Immigrant Assimilation: Evidence from Sweden," Working Papers 0020, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  4. Harriet Duleep & Daniel Dowhan, 2002. "Insights from longitudinal data on the earnings growth of U.S. foreign-born men," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 485-506, August.
  5. Derek Hum & Wayne Simpson, 2004. "Reinterpreting the performance of immigrant wages from panel data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 129-147, January.
  6. Wei-Yin Hu, 2000. "Immigrant Earnings Assimilation: Estimates from Longitudinal Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 368-372, May.
  7. Skuterud, Mikal & Su, Mingcui, 2009. "Immigrant Wage Assimilation and the Return to Foreign and Host-Country Sources of Human Capital," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-38, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 26 Jun 2009.
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