Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 69–106 | Cite as

Immigration and internal mobility in Canada

  • Michel Beine
  • Serge Coulombe
Original Paper


We analyse the impact of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) and permanent immigrants on interprovincial mobility in Canada. Empirical results are analysed through the lens of a theoretical model that incorporates a job-matching framework in a migration model à la Harris and Todaro. The effect of the inflow of TFWs in interprovincial mobility is negative, substantial and significant. This is not the case for the inflow of permanent immigrants selected through the Canadian point system. The robustness of these empirical results to issues of endogeneity is assessed through a classical instrumentation approach as well as through a diff-in-diff analysis taking advantage of a pilot project facilitating the admission of TFWs in two Western provinces over the 2007–2010 period. Our paper suggests that, in general, the impact of immigration on labour market conditions depends critically on the way immigration policy is set.


Internal mobility Immigration policy Foreign workers Displacement effect 

JEL codes

F220 J080 J290 J610 



This paper has benefitted from comments and suggestions of two anonymous referees and the editor. We also made use of the many comments collected during the presentations made In Barcelona (summer forum), Oxford (migration and development conference), Louvain, Geneva, Poznan, Ottawa and Roma. We are particularly indebted to M. Clemens, M. Corak, F. Docquier, G. Facchini, J. Fernandez, A-M. Mayda, F. Mariani, L-P. Morin, G. Peri and B. Vanderlinden among many others for useful suggestions of improvements. The usual disclaimer applies.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LuxembourgLuxembourgLuxembourg
  2. 2.University of IZABonnGermany
  3. 3.University of CREAMLondonUK
  4. 4.University of CES-IFOMunichGermany
  5. 5.University of OttawaOttawaCanada

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