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Immigration, skills and the labor market: International evidence

Abstract.

Using the 1994–1998 International Adult Literacy Survey, this paper compares cognitive skills and employment of immigrants in Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States. Immigrants had lower cognitive test scores than natives in each country, with the largest gaps in the US, and small gaps in Canada and New Zealand. Male immigrants in the US were no less likely to work than natives, while in the other countries, male immigrants were less likely to be employed. Female immigrants were less likely in each country to be employed than natives, with an especially large gap for the US.

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Correspondence to Lawrence M. Kahn.

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The author thanks Francine D. Blau and two anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions and Katsuhide Yamashita for excellent research assistance. Responsible editor: Christoph M. Schmidt.

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Kahn, L. Immigration, skills and the labor market: International evidence. J Popul Econ 17, 501–534 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-003-0151-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-003-0151-4

JEL classification

  • J24
  • J61

Key words

  • Human capital
  • immigrant workers