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Training and the Earnings of Immigrant Males: Evidence from the Canadian Workplace and Employee Survey


  • *Direct correspondence to Michael R. Smith, Department of Sociology, McGill University, 855 Sherbrooke West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3A 2T7 〈〉. Professor Smith will provide information on data and coding. The raw data is regarded by Statistics Canada as confidential. Access to it can be secured through application to one of the Statistics Canada data centers located across Canada. For information on the data center program, consult 〈〉. Helpful comments on early work on this article were received from Morton Weinfeld, participants in McGill's Social Statistics Seminar, and at the session “L'analyse des données d'enquêtes: acquis et défis pour l'avancement des connaissances en sciences sociales” held at the meetings of the Association canadienne française pour l'avancement des sciences in Montreal in 2004.


Objective. To improve on the existing research on earnings differentials between visible minority immigrants and the native-born, and on the role of discrimination in producing that difference. To do this we introduce into the analysis: (1) access to training and (2) training effects on earnings growth.

Method. Using a panel data set containing information on training we test cross-sectional models of access to training, cross-sectional models of wage determination, and panel models of wage growth.

Results. Visible minority immigrants are disadvantaged in both access to training and earnings; education reduces the disadvantage; and they do better than the other two groups in wage growth.

Conclusions. Some results are consistent with a discrimination interpretation but, considered together, the complete sets of results are difficult to reconcile with any relatively straightforward discrimination account.