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The role of skills in understanding low income in Canada

This research explores how skill proficiencies are distributed between low-income and not-in low-income groups using the results of a highly complex survey of the information-processing skills of Canadians between the ages of 16 and 65. We find that having measures of skills enhances our understanding of the correlates of low income. Skills have an independent effect, even when controlling for other known correlates of low income, and their inclusion reduces the independent effect of education and immigrant status. This result is relevant for public policy development as the knowledge of the skills profile of the low-income population can inform the design of efficient and effective programmes.