ARCHIVED – Social Capital and Employment Entry of Recent Immigrants to Canada

Abstract

This paper looks at the role of social networks on the economic performance of recent immigrants to Canada in terms of employment probability. It addresses literature gaps by performing an empirical analysis of the relationship between social capital, ethnic diversity and labour market entry of recent immigrants using the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC). The research builds indicators of social capital based on a network-based concept using information unique to the LSIC, considering the types of networks (kinship, friendship, organization) and their content (size, diversity, density, quality). The study further explores the relationship between those indicators and labour market status of immigrants who landed between October 2000 and September 2001, with a specific focus on employment entry in a longitudinal context, using panel data models including fixed-effects logit model, random-effects logit model and generalized estimating equations (GEE) population-averaged logit models to control for unobserved heterogeneity. The analysis reveals significant variability in the presence of social networks at landing and in the social capital stock across immigration classes and ethnic groups; furthermore, social capital stock, as measured by various indicators, influences the probability of employment in the initial four years. Possibly through a more ethnically diverse network, social capital plays an important role in facilitating economic assimilation of recent immigrants in terms of a higher probability of getting employment. In particular, making the friendship network more ethnically diversified appears to be beneficial to the immigrants who landed in the categories other than the family class, especially male skilled workers and female Filipino immigrants.

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