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In response to comments/questions on twitter and by email:

- I didn't use weights. The weighted means are pretty much identical to the ones reported in the post.

- using DPGRSUM instead of doing what I did - using VisMin and eliminating people reporting Aboriginal heritage - doesn't make a difference either.

The enormous disconnect between West Asian/Arab number in the two sets of results is also striking.

HI Frances,

Interesting puzzle. My instinct is that the Chinese and Korean numbers should be far above the average (as you have them) and not below the average (as the STC paper has them).

I don't know which of your enumerated possibilities is the source of the difference, but I would be very very surprised to see those kinds of employment rates for Chinese and Korean men and women.

Kevin, Bob - Feng Hou has re-run his code and it seems that, yes, there was a mistake in the paper.

Interestingly, even though the employment numbers for Chinese/Korean/white 2nd generation Canadians are roughly the same, the unemployment rates appear to be slightly lower for Chinese and Korean Canadians, because more of them are out of the labour force, presumably in school. There isn't much of statistical (or other) significance in this however.

Also, if you take a narrower age range, i.e. 30 to 39, so minimizing the effects of people still being in school and the non-white population being, on average, a lot younger than the white population, several of the visible minority groups employment rates start edging above the non-visible-minority employment rate, especially for women (approx 88% employment rate for Latin American between 39 and 39, 87% employment rate for Filipino women, 86% for Chinese, v. 82% for white women).

Prof. Woolley you caught a bug, as they say in software development. :)

This post really caught my attention as I'm married to someone of Chinese descent, and have two daughters who are mixed. As a white male who is generally clueless, this has made me more aware of cultural differences and issues of possible discrimination. Pure speculation here, but the cause may also be culturally ingrained; some are no doubt be more comfortable with the act of "selling oneself" in a job interview, while others have been taught to be modest, not brag about yourself, lead by action rather than words, etc. Selling is like any other skill, it requires a template and practice. These factors cannot be measured easily if at all, as there is no single Asian culture, and inter-generational differences are vast.

On a side note, I know several Canadians with Masters Degrees in economics and they are still working in bars, restaurant etc. This may be purely co-incidence, but they are all of happen to be of either Korean or Chinese descent - how frustrating!

Peder -

I teach a professional practice course of economics course, and one of my favourite exercises is to get people to write job application letters. Many students find it very difficult, for precisely the reasons you mention. And it's not obvious that bragging about oneself is a good strategy in any event - the job market isn't always kind to people who don't follow social convention.

Arthur Sweetman, Ross Finnie and others have done some interesting work on the probability of going to university as a function of high school grades for Canadians of different ethnic origins - see e.g. Figure 7.5 in this publication https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/catching-up-country-studies-on-intergenerational-mobility-and-children-of-immigrants_9789264301030-en#page192. One of the most interesting findings is that very mediocre Chinese Canadian high school students - ones with high school averages of, say, 65% - still end up going to university more often than not.

I suspect a lot of these students would have better life chances if their parents pushed them to work on their non-cognitive skills, and pushed them into less academic subjects. I feel strongly about this because these are precisely the students who often end up taking Econ, because their grades aren't good enough to get into business or the sciences or engineering, and econ at sounds like it should be useful. Plus it doesn't involve a lot of essay writing. But I'm not sure they get a lot out of it.

Good job, nice to see the system working.

I look forward to the revised paper.

Prof. Woolley,

A great cover letter for an application is important, but the face to face interview, that's where even the best candidates can fail, while the mediocre can easily oversell themselves by sheer gamesmanship.

I believe the course you are referring to is 3920, the one I'm missing to upgrade my BA to a BA Hon. :) I'm just a hobbyist, will never work as an economist, but it should be interesting regardless.

Mobility from a Canadian community that resembles home is probably the main unaccounted variable.

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