Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Gaston, N. and Nelson, D. (2007) The employment and wage effects of immigration: an overview of theory, method and results

Working Paper Series; No. 6, Aug. 2007.

Copyright © Noel Gaston, Doug Nelson and The Globalisation and Development Centre, Bond University, 2007.


We may not be living in the age of mass migration, but we are surely living in an age of mass migration. From 1965 through 2005 a fairly constant 2.2% of the world population have been migrants. However, this has involved an increasing rate of change to keep pace with the growing world population: the stock of migrants grew at 1.2% from 1965-1975; 2.2% from 1975-1985; and 2.6% from 1985-1990. More importantly, for the purposes of this paper, relative to regional population, the share of migrants in the US and Canada rose from 6% in 1965 to 8.6% in 1990 and 13% in 2005; while the share in Western Europe rose 3.6% to 6.1% and then 12% over the same period. This period has also seen a substantial shift toward developing countries as source countries for this migration: in the United States this share rose from 42% in 1960-1964 to over 80% in the 1980s through 2005; in Canada this share rose from 12% to over 80%; while this share in Australia rose from 7% to over 90%. In the 1990s, Germany and Austria experienced very large flows from Eastern Europe as well.