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A comparative analysis of immigrant skills and their utilization in Australia, Canada, and the USA

We compare literacy test scores and their impact on wage and employment outcomes of Australian, Canadian, and the US immigrants. Overall, we find little to distinguish the skills of immigrants to these three countries, although there is some indication of gains at the lower end of the distribution among Australian immigrants arriving after the mid-1990s. Relative immigrant wage returns to literacy are, however, substantially higher in the USA, which we argue reflects language-skill complementarities, as opposed to more efficient skill utilization or unobserved productivity characteristics.