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Differences in hi-tech immigrant earnings and wages across Canadian cities

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This paper examines the relative earnings and wages of immigrants working in the hi-tech sector in Canada's cities. Between 1990 and 2000, a sizeable earnings advantage of immigrants over nonimmigrants employed in the hi-tech sector evaporated, and this change was most noticeable in the largest cities. We use population census microdata to examine the geographical dimensions of this shift. After controlling for individual characteristics, we show that immigrants in the largest and tech-intensive cities earn significantly less relative to nonimmigrants than those in midsized and smaller cities. We also present results comparing the hi-tech immigrant wage and earnings gap for the five largest Canadian cities. The findings are consistent with the notion that geographic differences are an important component of the overall earnings gap between immigrants and nonimmigrants.

Keywords: difference-in-differences; différence des différences; earnings; gains; haute technologie; hi-tech; immigrants; salaires; urbain; urban; wages

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Urban Studies Program, Simon Fraser University, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, V6B 5K3, British Columbia, Canada ( ), Email: 2: Social Policy and Development Centre, 15-Maqbool Co-operative Housing Society, Block 7 & 8, Karachi 75350, Pakistan ( ), Email:

Publication date: September 1, 2008


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