Changes in Wage Inequality in Canada: An Interprovincial Perspective

32 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2016

See all articles by Nicole M. Fortin

Nicole M. Fortin

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics

Thomas Lemieux

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May/Mai 2015

Abstract

English Abstract: This paper uses the Canadian Labour Force Survey to understand why the level and dispersion of wages have evolved differently across provinces from 1997 to 2013. The faster increase in the level of wages and the decline in wage dispersion in Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and Alberta are the starkest interprovincial differences. We find that they are accounted for by the growth in the extractive resources sectors, which benefited less‐educated and younger workers the most. Increases in minimum wages since 2005 are found to be the main reason why wages at the very bottom grew more than those in the middle of the distribution.

French Abstract: Cet article utilise l'Enquête de la population active canadienne pour étudier les différences interprovinciales dans l'évolution du niveau et de la dispersion des salaires de 1997 à 2013. Les différences les plus remarquables sont l'augmentation beaucoup plus rapide de la croissance des salaires et la baisse de la dispersion salariale à Terre‐Neuve, en Saskatchewan et en Alberta. Ces différences sont reliées à la croissance du secteur des ressources extractives dont les travailleurs moins instruits et plus jeunes ont tout particulièrement bénéficié. Nous constatons également que l'augmentation des salaires minimums provinciaux depuis 2005 constitue la raison principale pour laquelle les salaires au bas de la distribution ont augmenté plus que les salaires médians.

Suggested Citation

Fortin, Nicole M. and Lemieux, Thomas, Changes in Wage Inequality in Canada: An Interprovincial Perspective (May/Mai 2015). Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, Vol. 48, Issue 2, pp. 682-713, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2716463 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/caje.12140

Nicole M. Fortin (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Thomas Lemieux

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics ( email )

997-1873 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Canada

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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