Apprenticeship Returns: What’s Gender Got to Do with It?

8098077876_60f54b45ae_z[We are pleased to welcome Harry Krashinsky of University of Toronto. Harry published an article in the October 2015 issue of ILR Review entitled “Returns to Apprenticeship Based on the 2006 Canadian Census” with co-author Morley Gunderson of University of Toronto.]

Until the 2006 Canadian Census, there had been no large cross-sectional data sets that separately identified Canadians who completed apprenticeship programs.  That changed with the 2006 Census, and this paper examines the relative pay of these types of individuals along a number of dimensions.  We find that males who have completed apprenticeship programs exhibit earnings that are generally equivalent to males who completed college degrees, and much higher than males who completed trade certificates or completed a high school degree.  But the opposite was true to females: those who completed apprenticeships exhibited earnings that were much lower than women who completed college degrees, and somewhat lower than women who completed trade certificates or high school degrees.  In the cases where there were earnings gaps, we found that other characteristics couldn’t account for these wage differences.

The abstract:ILR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint

To study the effect of apprenticeships in Canada, the authors use the 2006 Census, the first large-scale, representative Canadian data set to include information on apprenticeship certification. They find large returns for males with an apprenticeship certification when compared with no degree, a high school degree, or a trade certificate; these returns are almost as high as those to a community college diploma. By contrast, the returns for females who hold an apprenticeship certification are generally less than the returns to any other educational certification, except for no degree. For both genders, differences in observable characteristics account for little of the overall pay differences between apprentices and the alternative educational pathways, and the patterns tend to prevail across the quantiles of the pay distributions and for instrumental variable (IV) estimates.

You can read “Returns to Apprenticeship Based on the 2006 Canadian Census” from ILR Review by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from ILR ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Construction image credited to Rob Swystun (CC)



Morley Gunderson holds the CIBC Chair in Youth Employment and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and the International Institute for Labour Research in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2002, he was awarded the Industrial Relations Research Association Excellence in Education Award in Labour Economics, in 2003 the Gérard Dion Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Industrial Relations and in 2011 he was the first Canadian to be elected as a Fellow of the Labor and Employment Relations Association.

Harry Krashinsky is Associate Professor of Economics in the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough. He holds a cross-appointment to the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources. Prof. Krashinsky’s research currently focuses on labour economics, including wage inequality and differentials, the impact of training and accreditation on earnings, self-employment and job loss. He also pursues topics that apply econometric methods to wide-ranging policy issues, including the determinants of teen pregnancy and causes of variation in voting participation rates. He teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in labour economics and research methods.

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