Impacts of Literacy and Numeracy on Earnings: Do Immigration Admission Categories Matter?

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I explore differences in literacy and numeracy skills, and the economic returns of these skills for immigrants to Canada in different admission classes. The results suggest that neither adult nor young immigrants perform as well on literacy and numeracy tests as those born in Canada, although young immigrants have higher test scores than adult immigrants. Similar results are found for wages, our metric for success in the labour market. Generally, we find that economic immigrants tend to have the highest test scores and hourly wages, with refugees having the lowest, amongst all immigration categories.

Richard E. Mueller is a Professor of Economics, Academic Director of the Lethbridge Branch of the Prairie Regional Research Data Centre, and Associate Director of the Educational Policy Research Initiative at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Mueller holds a B.A. (Honours) and an M.A. from the University of Calgary, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught at the University of Maine before joining the University of Lethbridge in 2000, and was seconded to Statistics Canada from 2009 through 2011.  He is a Prentice Institute Research Affiliate.

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