Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 53–112 | Cite as

Immigrant category of admission and the earnings of adults and children: how far does the apple fall?

  • Casey WarmanEmail author
  • Matthew D. Webb
  • Christopher Worswick
Original Paper


Immigrants in many Western countries have experienced poor economic outcomes. This has led to a lack of integration of child immigrants (the 1.5 generation) and the second generation in some countries. However, in Canada, child immigrants and the second generation have on average integrated very well economically. We examine the importance of Canada’s admission classes to determine if there is an earnings benefit of the selection under the economic classes to (1) the Adult Arrival immigrants and (2) the Child Arrival immigrants (1.5 generation) once old enough to enter the labour market. We employ unique administrative data on landing records matched with subsequent income tax records that also allows for the linking of the records of Adult Arrival parents and their Child Arrival children. We find, relative to the Family Class, the Adult Arrivals in the Skilled Worker category have earnings that are 29% higher for men and 38% higher for women. These differences persist even after controlling for detailed personal characteristics such as education and language fluency at 21% for men and 27% for women. Child Arrival immigrants landing in the Skilled Worker Class have earnings advantages (as adults) over their Family Class counterparts of 17% for men and 21% for women. These Child Arrival Skilled Worker advantages remain at 9% for men and 14% for women after controlling for child characteristics, the Principal Applicant parent’s characteristics, and the parent’s subsequent income in Canada.


Canada Immigration Earnings 1.5 generation Second generation Child immigrants Integration Points system Skilled workers Economic class 

JEL classification

J15 J13 J31 J61 J62 



We would like to thank Klaus F. Zimmermann (the Editor), three anonymous reviewers, Manish Pandey, Frances Woolley, and seminar participants at Dalhousie University, Queen’s University, University of Waterloo, and the 2015 Canadian Economics Association meetings for their helpful comments. We would also like to thank Athanase Barayandema, Rose Evra, Ian Marrs, Scott McLeish, Michael Wendt, and Xiaoyi Yan for their help with the IMDB data.

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 GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Casey Warman
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Matthew D. Webb
    • 2
  • Christopher Worswick
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsCarleton University and CReAMOttawaCanada
  4. 4.National Bureau of Economic ResearchCambridgeUSA

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