StatsCan Study: The long-term economic outcomes of refugee private sponsorship

Of note how the economic outcomes of privately and government-sponsored refugees become similar over time after an initially wide gap:

Canada was the first country to introduce private sponsorship for refugee resettlement. The program has played a key role in the country’s responses to international refugee crises over the last four decades. Private sponsors are responsible for providing financial, material and personal support to refugees during their first year in Canada.

A new Statistics Canada study compares the employment rate and earnings between privately sponsored refugees and government-assisted refugees who were admitted to Canada from 1980 to 2009.

This study is based on the Longitudinal Immigration Database and focuses on refugees who arrived between the ages of 20 and 54 under the two programs (privately sponsored refugees and government-assisted refugees). The analysis follows refugees up to 15 years after they first arrived in Canada.

Refugees are a diverse population with varying degrees of human capital and pre-migration circumstances. Privately sponsored refugees and government-assisted refugees differ in some key socio-demographic characteristics. Over the study period, privately sponsored refugees came more predominantly from Eastern Europe, whereas government-assisted refugees came more often from South and Central America and the Caribbean. Privately sponsored refugees had a higher level of education and tended to be more concentrated in Toronto than government-assisted refugees.

This study compares labour market outcomes of these two groups of refugees, while taking these socio-economic characteristics into account and recognizing that other possible unmeasured differences between the two groups of refugees—such as exposure to violence, duration of displacement, physical and mental health, and ethnic and family networks—could impact their economic outcomes.

This study found that privately sponsored refugees had much higher employment rates and earnings than government-assisted refugees in the initial years after arrival, but this difference diminished over time with government-assisted refugees steadily catching up.

In the first full year after arrival, privately sponsored refugees had higher employment rates than government-assisted refugees, by about 17 percentage points among men and 24 percentage points among women. Fifteen years after arrival, these differences decreased to 3 percentage points among men and 2 percentage points among women.

Similarly, privately sponsored refugees earned 28% more than government-assisted refugees among men and 34% more among women in the first full year after arrival. This gap narrowed to about 5% for both men and women 15 years after arrival.

Furthermore, the employment and earnings advantage of privately sponsored refugees over government-assisted refugees was greater among refugees with less than a high school education than among refugees with higher educational levels. Over half of refugees in the study had less than a high school education.

Source: PDF

Josephine Mathias: Racism still exists on campuses, but don’t exaggerate the problem

Clearly, less serious and less nuanced than the CRRF/Environics Institute study or other related surveys such as the GSS or police-reported hate crimes, which provide information regarding the relative seriousness or degree of racist behaviour.

I have no problem with a “believing stance” as long as it provides some clarity as to the type and degree of racist behaviour. The Laurier report, while having considerable narrative and considerable data on respondents and where incidents took place, does not, unless I missed it, have a data table that would indicate the relative frequency of minor (e.g., some microagressions) and major (e.g, violence or threats of violence) racism:

Wilfrid Laurier University is in hot water over a recent race-related study. According to the survey, which polled minority students, upwards of 70 per cent of respondents experienced racism on WLU’s campus.

If 70 per cent sounds hyperbolic, that’s because it has to be. The problem with this study — and many others that include self-reported data — is that it didn’t define what constitutes racism. The study states at the outset: “This study takes a believing stance; therefore, if participants understand their experiences as racism, then we do not question the validity of their lived experiences.”

In other words, anything goes.

There is no doubt that individual acts, as well as systemic instances of racism, continue to exist on some Canadian campuses. But, in today’s day and age and for the purposes of a “supposed” academic study, to leave the definition of the term “racism” open to interpretation is to render it meaningless.

Over the past few decades, academics — particularly in the field of sociology — have tried to redefine the term racism. “Discrimination based on skin colour” became “prejudice plus social/economic power” in academia, and this reinterpretation of the term led many social activists to simply develop their own wishy-washy definitions. Today, many people consider white people having dreadlocks racist; wearing Nigerian — or some other African country-themed attire racist; hell, even not liking a particular country’s food is racist now, too.

So, when we consider the WLU 70 per cent figure, what does it really mean? Does it mean 70 per cent of minority students have been radicalized by a professor or other university official while attending class? Or, is it more likely a fair portion of this 70 per cent overheard a white dude in the cafeteria saying “Indian food is icky?” The solution to the former scenario is a formal reprimand of the official in question. The solution to the latter, is to ignore Brad and move on with your day.

The thing that bugs me most about these studies is that they paint this false picture of what life is like for minority students on campuses. To say that 70 per cent of minority students experience racism, is to say that WLU is closer to Alabama 1950 than it is to Southern Ontario 2019. To leave
the definition of racism so broad, but then to report the study’s headline with the 70 per cent figure. just drums up outrage, distrust and fear among minority students — if you didn’t see racism on campus before, you certainly will be inclined to now.

What good does perpetuating this kind of narrative do? Racism does exist on campus, there’s no doubt about that, and I’m sure many of the self-reported stories would constitute legitimate acts of discrimination or other-ing of students based on their race.

The problem is that we can’t find solutions to racism on campus if racism can be anything. And if we make actual racism impossible to define and categorize, we can’t address the real problem. If everything’s racist, nothing can be singled out.

Today, legitimate instances of discrimination don’t happen nearly as often as this study would have us believe. We can and should identify and reprimand the bad actors — be they other students, professors, or university officials — but we shouldn’t inflate the amount of racism on campus just to get the point across.

Source: Josephine Mathias: Racism still exists on campuses, but don’t exaggerate the problem