Selective Immigration Policy in Australia, Canada, and the United States

Document Type



Economics (CMC)

Publication Date

Spring 2004


We compare the selective immigration policies in Australia, Canada and the United States over the twentieth century and as they exist today. We then review existing information about the link between selective immigration policy and immigration outcomes in the three countries. The literature reviewed suggests that there does seem to be potential for selective immigration policy to affect immigrant outcomes by altering the skill levels of immigrants. Still, it is clear that other forces are at work as well. Historical accidents, social forces, and simple geography may all have a hand in shaping traditional migration patterns, while labor market conditions—in particular the relative return to skill—are likely to be as important as policy in producing migration incentives.

Rights Information

© 2004 Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.