Human Capital and Earnings of Female Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States

39 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2002

See all articles by Heather Antecol

Heather Antecol

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Stephen J. Trejo

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: September 2002

Abstract

Census data for 1990/91 indicate that Australian and Canadian female immigrants have higher levels of English fluency, education (relative to native-born women), and income (relative to native-born women) than do U.S. female immigrants. A prominent explanation for this skill deficit of U.S. immigrant women is that the United States receives a much larger share of immigrants from Latin America than do the other two countries. Similar to previous findings for male immigrants, the apparent skill disadvantage of foreign-born women in the United States (relative to foreign-born women in Australia and Canada) shrinks dramatically once we exclude immigrants originating in Latin America. In all three countries, men are much more likely than women to gain admission on the basis of immigration criteria related to labor market considerations rather than family relationships. For this reason, we might expect that the stronger emphasis on skill-based admissions in Australia and Canada compared to the United States would have a larger impact on cross-country differences in the skill content of male rather than female immigration flows. Therefore, our findings of similar patterns for men and women and of the key role played by national origin both suggest that factors other than immigration policy per se are important contributors to the observed skill differences between immigrants to these three destination countries.

Keywords: Immigration, Female Immigrants, Human Capital

JEL Classification: J61, J68, J31

Suggested Citation

Antecol, Heather and Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. and Trejo, Stephen J., Human Capital and Earnings of Female Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States (September 2002). IZA Discussion Paper No. 575. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=331470

Heather Antecol

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth Street
Claremont, CA 91711
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Stephen J. Trejo (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Economics ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-475-8512 (Phone)
512-471-3510 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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