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The relative labour market performance of former international students: Evidence from the Canadian National Graduates Survey

Author

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  • Chen, Zong Jia
  • Skuterud, Mikal

Abstract

Canada is increasingly looking to international students as a source of postsecondary tuition revenues and new immigrants. By 2014, international students accounted for 10% of graduates from Canadian postsecondary institutions, up from 3% in 2000, and 11% of new permanent residents, up from 7% in 2010. This article compares the labour market performance of former international students (FISs) entering the Canadian labour market during the first decade of the 2000s to their Canadian-born-and-educated (CBE) and foreign-born-and-educated (FBE) counterparts. We find that FISs outperform FBE immigrants by a substantial margin and un- derperform CBE individuals graduating from similar academic programs by a relatively modest margin. We also find some limited evidence, particularly among women, of a deterioration in FIS outcomes through the 2000s relative to both comparison groups. We argue that this de- terioration is consistent with a quality tradeoff as postsecondary institutions and governments have reached deeper into international student pools to meet their demands for students and new immigrants without a commensurate increase in their supply.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Zong Jia & Skuterud, Mikal, 2017. "The relative labour market performance of former international students: Evidence from the Canadian National Graduates Survey," CLEF Working Paper Series 11, Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:clefwp:11
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/203341/1/CLEF-011-2017-Winter-Jia-Skuterud.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arthur Sweetman & Casey Warman, 2014. "Former Temporary Foreign Workers and International Students as Sources of Permanent Immigration," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 40(4), pages 392-407, December.
    2. Ana Ferrer & W. Craig Riddell, 2008. "Education, credentials, and immigrant earnings," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(1), pages 186-216, February.
    3. Mikal Skuterud & Mingcui Su, 2012. "The influence of measurement error and unobserved heterogeneity in estimating immigrant returns to foreign and host-country sources of human capital," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 1109-1141, December.
    4. repec:spr:izamig:v:7:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40176-017-0091-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hou, Feng & Lu, Yuqian, 2017. "International Students, Immigration and Earnings Growth: The Effect of a Pre-immigration Canadian University Education," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2017395e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    6. Philip Oreopoulos, 2011. "Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Thirteen Thousand Resumes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 148-171, November.
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    1. repec:cdh:commen:518 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International students; labour market integration; immigrant selection policy;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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