An Analysis of the Ins and Outs of Migration within Canada

Most studies of Canadian inter-provincial labor flows have asked how regional wage differences affect workers mobility. Relatively little is know about the characteristics of these movers. We fill in these facts. Inter-provincial migrants tend to be both younger and better educated than their peers. We document that those moving out of a province tend to earn more than otherwise similar workers who stay. Similarly, those moving into a province typically earn more than similar workers already in that province. For Quebec, we find that those moving in earn 19.1% more than otherwise identical workers in Quebec while those moving out earned 16.6% more. Such worker flows have clear implications not only for provincial tax revenues, but also for public spending in areas like education and medical and social services. Knowing the characteristics of inter-provincial migrants may aid in the design of policies to attract and retain high income workers.

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