Earlier drafts of this paper were presented at the International Sociological Association Research Committee on Stratification and Social Mobility (RC28) in Libourne, France, May 11–14, 2000 and at the trilateral — Canadian, German, Israeli — conference held at the University of Toronto, October 23–24, 2000. We wish to thank anonymous reviewers of the journal for their insightful and constructive comments on earlier drafts. We take full responsibility for whatever shortcomings remain.
Institutional Structure and Immigrant Integration: A Comparative Study of Immigrants' Labor Market Attainment in Canada and Israel1
Version of Record online: 23 FEB 2006
International Migration Review
Volume 37, Issue 2, pages 389–420, June 2003
How to Cite
Lewin-Epstein, N., Semyonov, M., Kogan, I. and Wanner, R. A. (2003), Institutional Structure and Immigrant Integration: A Comparative Study of Immigrants' Labor Market Attainment in Canada and Israel. International Migration Review, 37: 389–420. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2003.tb00142.x
- Issue online: 23 FEB 2006
- Version of Record online: 23 FEB 2006
The present study focuses on the incorporation of immigrants from the former Soviet Union in two receiving societies, Israel and Canada, during the first half of the 1990s. Both countries conducted national censuses in 1995 (Israel) and 1996 (Canada), making it possible to identify a large enough sample of immigrants and provide information on their demographic characteristics and their labor market activity. While both Canada and Israel are immigrant societies, their institutional contexts of immigrant reception differ considerably. Israel maintains no economic selection of the Jewish immigrants and provides substantial support for newcomers, who are viewed as a returning Diaspora. Canada employs multiple criteria for selecting immigrants, and the immigrants' social and economic incorporation is patterned primarily by market forces. The analysis first examines the characteristics of immigrants who arrived in the two countries and evaluates the extent of selectivity. Consistent with our hypotheses, Russian immigrants to Canada were more immediately suitable for the labor market, but experienced greater difficulty finding and maintaining employment. Nevertheless, immigrants to Canada attained higher-status occupations and higher earnings than their compatriots in Israel did, although the Israeli labor market was more likely to reward their investments in education.