New research on immigrant wages in Canada; personal finances during COVID-19

An item from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.

Canadian Studies Announcements
In this issue:
  • New faculty research highlights cause of immigrant-native wage gap in Canada
  • Virtual exhibit showcases Canadian women artists
  • Affiliate event: Personal Finances During COVID-19 for Canadians
New Research From Affiliate Economist David Card: Employer Policies and the Immigrant-Native Earnings Gap
A new discussion paper co-authored by Canadian Studies faculty affiliate David Card, a professor of economics at UC Berkeley, argues that hiring and wage decisions made by individual firms are largely responsible for the immigrant-native wage difference in Canada.
The research, which was published by the IZA Institute of Labor Economics and is currently undergoing peer review, used longitudinal tax data to study the impacts of firm-level pay scales on immigrants’ economic success. Rather than considering just the skills or productivity of immigrant workers, the authors take into account the hiring and salary practices of firms to understand pay gaps for immigrants in Canada. The study found that 20% of the gap between immigrant and native earnings could be attributed to the decreased chance of an immigrant being hired at a highly-paying firm. This was particularly noticeable for immigrants from developing countries who lacked a university education, who made 40% less on average than native-born Canadians. However, immigrants with a university degree from these regions exhibited the largest percent wage growth over time, and experienced rapid career advancement, which the paper argues demonstrates delayed recognition of initially-discredited skills. The findings align with previous research that suggests that firms’ wage-setting policies widen inequality both between and within groups.
Read the whole study here (PDF file).
Virtual Exhibit Honors Canada’s Women Artists
Earlier this year, A New Light: Canadian Women Artists opened to the public in the Embassy of Canada’s art gallery in Washington, D.C. Featuring 38 works by 27 exceptional Canadian women artists, the all-female exhibition is part of a broader commitment to showcase works illuminating Canada’s diversity, both with regard to genres of media and artists’ backgrounds. After the exhibition the artwork, on long-term loan from The Global Affairs Visual Art Collection, The Canada Council for the Arts, and Scotiabank Fine Art Collection, will move from the gallery to find a home in prominent locations throughout the Embassy.
To offer a safe way to experience the art during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the gallery was relaunched as a virtual exhibition, on display until the end of August. Explore the gallery from home, and begin the tour here.
Pictured artwork: Jin by Meryl McMaster (2010).
Chesterfield Chat: Personal Finances During COVID-19 and Cross-Border Considerations for Canadians
Panel | June 10 | 4:00 p.m. | Online – RSVP required
New panelist added June 8
The Digital Moose Lounge and Royal Bank of Canada are hosting a webinar providing financial advice for Canadians living and working in the Bay Area during COVID-19.
The panel will be moderated by David Stewart, current Canadian Studies Advisory Board chair and DML board member. Other speakers will be Heather Pelant, partner at Baker Street Advisors; Alain Forget, head of sales and business development at RBC USA; and Matt C. Altro, president and CEO of Cross Borders Advisors.
Learn more and register here. For more information, please contact the Digital Moose Lounge directly at
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308 WEBSITE | EMAIL
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720


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