Journal article Open Access

Immigration and the Canadian Earnings Distribution in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

Green, Alan G.; Green, David A.

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  "DOI": "10.1017/s0022050716000541", 
  "author": [
      "family": "Green, Alan G."
      "family": "Green, David A."
  "issued": {
    "date-parts": [
  "abstract": "We use newly available micro data samples from the 1911, 1921, 1931 and 1941 Canadian\nCensuses to investigate the impact of immigration on the Canadian earnings distribution in the\nrst half of the 20th Century. We show that earnings inequality increased dramatically between\n1911 and 1941, with most of the change occurring in the 1920s. This coincided with two of\nlargest immigration decades in Canadian history (the 1910s and 1920s) and then the smallest\nimmigration decade (1930s). We nd, however, that immigration was not a prime cause of the\nincrease in inequality in these years. The relative lack of eect arose for three reasons. 1) in the\nlaissez-faire immigration policy before WWI, immigrants self-selected to have an occupational\ndistribution that was similar to that of the native born; 2) in the 1920s, when immigration\npolicy brought in a large number of farm labourers, immigrants adjusted geographically and\noccupationally after arrival to again end up with an occupational distribution similar to that of\nthe native born; 3) general equilibrium adjustments in the economy helped mitigate the eects\nof occupation-specic immigrant supply shocks.", 
  "title": "Immigration and the Canadian Earnings Distribution in the First Half of the Twentieth Century", 
  "type": "article-journal", 
  "id": "895711"
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