Topics in Canadian Aboriginal earnings, employment and education: An empirical analysis
Authors: Danielle K. Lamb
This dissertation is divided into three main components that each relate to the socioeconomic wellbeing of Aboriginal peoples in the Canadian labour market. Specifically, using data from the master file of the Canadian census for the years 1996, 2001 and 2006, the first section examines the wage differential for various Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups, including a comparison of those living on-and-off-reserves. The study finds that, while a sizeable wage gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal persons still exists, this disparity has narrowed over the three census periods for those living off-reserve. The Aboriginal-non-Aboriginal wage differential is largest among the on-reserve population and this gap has remained relatively constant over the three census periods considered in the study. The second study in the dissertation uses data from the master file of the Canadian Labour Force Survey for 2008 and 2009 to estimate the probability that an individual is a labour force participant, and, conditional on labour force participation, the probability that a respondent is unemployed, comparing several Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups. The results reveal that Aboriginal men and women have lower rates of labour force participation and higher rates or unemployment in both periods as compared to their non-Aboriginal counterparts. Aboriginal peoples were also disproportionately burdened by a slowdown in economic activity as measured by a change in the probability of unemployment moving from 2008 to 2009, as compared to non-Aboriginal people, who experienced a smaller increase in the probability of unemployment moving from a period of positive to negative economic growth. finally, the third study examines the probability of high school dropout comparing Aboriginal peoples living on-and-off-reserve using data from the master file of the Aboriginal Peoples Survey for 2001. The findings reveal dramatically higher rates of dropout among Aboriginal people living on-reserve as compared to those living off-reserve. Limitations of all three studies as well as some possible directions of future research related to similar issues concerning Canada’s Aboriginal population are discussed in the concluding chapter of the dissertation
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