An Explanation for the Lower Payoff to Schooling for Immigrants in the Canadian Labour Market

43 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2009

See all articles by Barry R. Chiswick

Barry R. Chiswick

University of Illinois at Chicago; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Paul W. Miller

Curtin University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Curtin University - Centre for Research in Applied Economics

Abstract

This paper examines the difference between the payoffs to schooling for immigrants and the native born in Canada, using 2001 Census data. Analyses are presented for males and females. Comparisons are offered with findings for the US. The paper uses the Overeducation/Required education/Undereducation framework (Hartog, 2000) and a decomposition developed by Chiswick and Miller (2008). This decomposition links overeducation to the less-than-perfect international transferability of immigrants' human capital, and under-education to favourable selection in immigration. The results show that immigrants have a lower payoff to schooling because of the different effects under-education and over-education have on their earnings. The effects of under-education, or selection in immigration, are, however, twice as large as the effects of over-education, or limited international transferability of human capital. Favourable selection in immigration appears to be less important in Canada than in the US, where it predominates among the least educated.

Keywords: immigrants, skill, schooling, earnings, rates of return, Canada

JEL Classification: I21, J24, J31, J61, F22

Suggested Citation

Chiswick, Barry R. and Miller, Paul W., An Explanation for the Lower Payoff to Schooling for Immigrants in the Canadian Labour Market. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4448. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1489271

Barry R. Chiswick (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

601 S. Morgan Street, Room 2103UH
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States
312-996-2683 (Phone)
312-996-3344 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Paul W. Miller

Curtin University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

GPO Box U1987
Perth WA 6845
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Curtin University - Centre for Research in Applied Economics ( email )

GPO Box U1987
Perth, Western Australia 6845
Australia

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