Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 1217–1247 | Cite as

The effects of a change in the point system on immigration: evidence from the 2001 Quebec reform

  • Matthieu CheminEmail author
  • Nagham Sayour
Original Paper


In 2001, Quebec changed its point system, a system that selects immigrants based on specific observable characteristics. The explicit objective was to increase the number of French-speaking immigrants, with no deterioration in overall labor market performance. To achieve this, points for French and education (specifically bachelor’s degrees) were increased. In parallel, points for a subjective assessment of “adaptability” were decreased. In line with the initial objective, we find more French-speaking immigrants with bachelor’s degrees, and no worsening in labor market outcomes after the reform. These results hold in a difference-in-differences and triple differences analysis. This paper shows how point systems can be used to shape the immigrant workforce according to policy goals.


Immigration Point system Labor market integration 

JEL Classification

J61 J68 



The analysis presented in this paper was conducted at the Quebec Interuniversity Centre for Social Statistics (QICSS) which is part of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN). The services and activities provided by the QICSS are made possible by the financial or in-kind support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Statistics Canada, the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture (FRQSC), the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS) and the Quebec universities. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the CRDCN or its partners. The authors would like to thank two anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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