Immigrant Earnings Differentials and Cohort Effects in Canada

The relationship between immigration flows and the labour market became very topical in both the United States and Canada in the mid-1980s. Major articles in such forums as The New York Times, Science, and the Journal of Economic Literature, the 1986 enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act in the United States, and revision of the Canadian immigration legislation signaled an active debate in both countries on how to adjust immigration policy to the situation of the 1980’s.

This paper reviews Canadian immigration policy and experience between World War II and the 1970’s, and examines changing immigrant characteristics for this period. The 1973 Job Mobility Survey is used in the analysis to examine what has happened to immigrant earnings differentials in Canada leading up to the 1970’s.

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