Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Roberto Pedace

Reader 2

Sean Flynn

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2022 Lucy C Dustman


This paper investigates whether there is a wage penalty that negatively affects foreign-born employees in the United States and Canada, addressing the following two questions: (1) Does being a foreign-born employee result in a wage penalty in the United States and Canada? And if so, (2) How does this penalty differ across the two countries over time? With data collected from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMs), four separate multiple linear regression models are estimated to compare the presence of wage penalties across various industries and occupations. These analyses cover the following comparisons: the United States in 1990 and 2000, Canada in 1991 and 2001, the United States in 1990 and Canada in 1991, and the United States in 2000 and Canada in 2001. For each comparison, this study finds that individuals who identify as foreign-born to the country they are employed, face a wage penalty. These findings indicate that this specific status (foreign-born) correlates to lower wages compared to the average employee and suggests changes in immigration policy in both countries over time as potential explanations. These results are important for future consideration of wage and salary incomes to individuals in both countries, regardless of foreign and domestic-born status.