Sector Research

Academic studies and in-depth research reports focused on a wide variety of immigration-related topics. These documents are typically written at a high English level.

Can Mindfulness Improve the Mental Health of Refugees?

Refugees have consistently been found to experience elevated levels of distress, from symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety, to various culturally specific forms of suffering. Their distress was originally believed to be primarily the result of the violence and loss they had experienced in their embattled homeland, prior to escaping into exile. It’s an understandable assumption: Experiences such as witnessing or directly experiencing violence, the constant fear generated by gunfire, shelling, and bombing, and the pervasive destruction of war can cause significant and sometimes lasting psychological harm.

The century of climate migration: why we need to plan for the great upheaval

Agreat upheaval is coming. Climate-driven movement of people is adding to a massive migration already under way to the world’s cities. The number of migrants has doubled globally over the past decade, and the issue of what to do about rapidly increasing populations of displaced people will only become greater and more urgent. To survive climate breakdown will require a planned and deliberate migration of a kind humanity has never before undertaken.

Innovation in Immigrant-owned Firms in Canada

This paper uses data from a survey of Canadian firms in 2011, 2014 and 2017, and asks whether immigrant-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were more likely than those owned by Canadian-born individuals to implement an innovation. It is hypothesized that this would be the case since compared to the Canadian born, immigrant entrepreneurs are more likely to be highly educated in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field, are more likely to file patents (at least in the United States), and are more likely to trade internationally. These factors are positively correlated with innovation. The outcome variables include the likelihood of implementing product, process, organizational and marketing innovations, and five types of intellectual property: registered trademarks, patents, registered industrial designs, trade secrets and nondisclosure agreements. The methodology consists of using coarsened pexact matching followed by a probit analysis to control for both firm and owner characteristics. Both adjusted and unadjusted results indicate that an immigrant-owned firm was more likely to implement a product or process innovation, regardless of whether the immigrant owner was a recent or longer-tenured immigrant, or whether the firm was in a knowledge-based industry or the economy as a whole. Similar results were obtained for marketing innovations. There was no difference in the likelihood of implementing an organizational innovation between SMEs with immigrant owners and SMEs with Canadian-born owners. Overall, there was little difference between the two regarding the use of the five types of intellectual property. However, recent immigrant owners were more likely to use patents.

The Financing of Immigrant-owned Firms in Canada

Using data from the 2011 and 2014 Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises, this paper examines access to financing by immigrant business owners. It documents the main financing sources of immigrant‑owned and Canadian‑owned small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs). The results suggest that financing sources tend to be similar for the two groups, although immigrant owners tend to turn to formal financial institutions less often than their Canadian‑born counterparts. The paper further explores whether immigrant‑owned SMEs have greater difficulty accessing financial capital than SMEs with Canadian‑born owners. Immigrant owners are less likely than Canadian‑born owners to seek financing from any source, but their applications are just as likely to be approved as those of Canadian‑born owners. Both immigrant and Canadian‑born owners reported that, among the seven potential obstacles to growth presented in the survey, access to financing was the least important. The study finds weak evidence to suggest that access to financial capital is a more serious issue among immigrant‑owned SMEs than among SMEs with Canadian‑born owners.

Labour Market Outcomes Among Refugees to Canada

Canada welcomed over 830,000 refugees from the 1980s to 2000s. However, their economic outcomes, especially the variation among major refugee groups, have not been examined comprehensively. Using the Longitudinal Immigration Database, this paper examines the labour market outcomes of refugees from 13 source countries with large inflows to Canada over the 1980-to-2009 period. The analysis first compares employment rates and earnings among refugees from the 13 source countries. It further compares each refugee group with economic-class and family-class immigrants who arrived during the same period. The results reveal a very large variation in employment rates and average earnings among the 13 refugee groups. Groups with low employment rates tended to have low earnings levels among the employed. Groups with low (high) employment rates and earnings among the men also tended to have low (high) rates among the women. Very little of the variation in earnings among refugee groups could be accounted for by differences in observable human capital characteristics, economic conditions or the program of entry to Canada. Privately sponsored refugees earned more than comparable government assisted refugees during the initial years in Canada. However, this advantage disappeared after a decade in the country.

The Wealth of Immigrant Families in Canada

This study documents the evolution of the wealth of immigrant families and of their Canadian-born counterparts from 1999 to 2016. The study uses data from Statistics Canada’s Survey of Financial Security. The study finds that increases in housing equity and in the value of registered pension plan (RPP) assets were the main drivers of wealth growth from 1999 to 2016. However, the relative importance of increases in housing equity was greater for immigrant families than for Canadian-born families. This reflects the fact that compared with Canadian-born families, immigrant families generally hold a greater share of their wealth in housing but a smaller share in RPP assets. While the increases in home prices observed since the late 1990s drove much of the growth in housing equity, the lower rates of return on financial assets observed after 1999 were a key factor underlying the growth in the net present value of RPP assets.