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Retirement Incomes, Labour Supply and Co-residency Decisions of Older Immigrants in Canada: 1991-2006

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  • McDonald, James Ted
  • Worswick, Christopher

Abstract

The incomes, hours of work and co-residency behavior of older immigrants in Canada are analyzed using data from the confidential master files of the Canadian Census for the years 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006. Older immigrants in Canada have lower incomes than the Canadian-born of the same age range and this difference is concentrated in the immigrants who arrived older than age 50. However, there is also evidence that the effects of the lower incomes on the welfare of these immigrants are mitigated to a certain extent through co-residency, presumably with their younger relatives already resident in Canada. Immigrants reside with, on average, more family members than do the Canadian born. A clear pattern is present of immigrant groups with relatively low average incomes being the ones living in larger economic families. Immigrants who arrive at younger ages (25-49) are more likely to be employed and if they are employed, they tend to work longer hours than their Canadian born counterparts. For immigrants who arrived after age 50, their employment decisions do not differ greatly from their Canadian born counterparts; however, if they work, their hours of work tend to be higher. Immigrants have relatively less income from private pensions compared with the Canadian born. Immigrants from non-traditional source countries have low levels of CPP/QPP income relative to immigrants from traditional source countries or the Canadian born. In terms of OAS/GIS income, immigrant men who arrived at age 60 or older have in the order of 50% lower incidence of receiving pension income than do immigrants who arrived at younger ages. In contrast, for immigrant men who arrived age 25-49, we do not see large differences in their incidence or level of income received from OAS/GIS relative to otherwise similar Canadian born men.

Suggested Citation

  • McDonald, James Ted & Worswick, Christopher, 2013. "Retirement Incomes, Labour Supply and Co-residency Decisions of Older Immigrants in Canada: 1991-2006," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2013-23, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 29 Apr 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2013-23
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    File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%20116%20-%20McDonald%20and%20Worswick.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christopher Worswick, 1996. "Immigrant Families in the Canadian Labour Market," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 22(4), pages 378-396, December.
    2. David A. Green & James Townsend, 2010. "Understanding the wage patterns of Canadian less skilled workers: the role of implicit contracts," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 373-403, February.
    3. Patrik Marier & Suzanne Skinner, 2008. "The Impact of Gender and Immigration on Pension Outcomes in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(s1), pages 59-78, November.
    4. Charles Beach & Ross Finnie, 2004. "A longitudinal analysis of earnings change in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(1), pages 219-240, February.
    5. Paul Beaudry & David A. Green, 2000. "Cohort patterns in Canadian earnings: assessing the role of skill premia in inequality trends," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 907-936, November.
    6. Christopher Worswick, 1999. "Credit Constraints and the Labour Supply of Immigrant Families in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(1), pages 152-170, February.
    7. Michael R. Veall, 2007. "Which Canadian Seniors Are Below the Low-Income Measure?," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 186, McMaster University.
    8. Kevin Milligan, 2008. "The Evolution of Elderly Poverty in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(s1), pages 79-94, November.
    9. James Ted McDonald & Christopher Worswick, 1998. "The Earnings of Immigrant Men in Canada: Job Tenure, Cohort, and Macroeconomic Conditions," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(3), pages 465-482, April.
    10. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
    11. 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.
    12. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne & Fan, Elliot, 2009. "Public Policy and the Economic Wellbeing of Elderly Immigrants," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-69, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Dec 2009.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Retirement; pensions; income; immigrant; labour supply; housing; gender;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy

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