Journal article

A comparative analysis of the labor market performance of university-educated immigrants in Australia, Canada, and the United States: Does policy matter?

A Clarke, A Ferrer, M Skuterud

Journal of Labor Economics | University of Chicago Press | Published : 2019


We examine data from Australia, Canada, and the United States to assess the potential for immigrant screening policies to influence the labor market performance of skilled immigrants. Our estimates point to improvements in employment rates and weekly earnings of male university-educated immigrants in all three countries concomitant with policy reforms. Nonetheless, the gains are modest in comparison to a substantial and persistent performance advantage of US skilled immigrants. Given that there is increasingly little to distinguish the screening policies of these countries, we interpret the US advantage as primarily reflecting the relative positive self-selectivity of US immigrants.

University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

Mikal Skuterud acknowledges financial support from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada and expresses his deep gratitude to Mark Bernstein, Michael Fehlings, Michael Crump, Janet MacEachern, Ramana Rachakonda, and staff at Toronto-Western Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, and the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre for their critical contribution to the completion of this paper. Syntax files used to replicate the results are available from the journal website. Access to the Australian census data can be obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics through the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL). Access to the Canadian census data can be obtained through the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN). The US census and American Community Survey (ACS) files are from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (Steven Ruggles, Sarah Flood, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, Erin Meyer, Jose Pacas, and Matthew Sobek. 2018.IPUMSUSA, version 8.0 [data set]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS. Contact the corresponding author, Mikal Skuterud, at Information concerning access to the data used in this paper is available as supplemental material online.