Education, skills, and wage gaps in Canada and the United States

Frank Fernandez, William Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We analyse data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies to reveal that immigrants in Canada and the United States make over $200 less per month than native-born workers. In the United States, immigrants disproportionately work in low-wage occupations, leading to large mean national differences between immigrants and native workers. The wage differential disappears after accounting for education and cognitive skills, indicating policies must focus on reducing education and skill gaps in the United States. In Canada, an immigrant wage gap persists in nearly all occupational fields, suggesting that the better skilled and educated immigrants in Canada are not receiving the same wage premium as native workers. We close with implications for policy and future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-73
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Migration
Issue number3
Early online date2 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


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