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WAGES in CANADA: SCF, SLID, LFS and the Skill Premium

By A.L Robb, L. Magee and J.B. Burbidge


For the years 1981 to 1997 the Survey of Consumer Finances served as the main source of information about the earnings of individuals, households and families. The Survey of Labour Income Dynamics, begun in 1993, was intended to replace and to improve upon the SCF. The Labour Force Survey which began releasing earnings information in 1997 (the last year of the SCF) is a second alternative for extending historical earnings data to the present day. This paper examines the extent to which either of these two surveys can be used to extend the SCF series to more recent times. Neither survey comes off as satisfactory in all respects as an extension of SCF earnings data though if one's purposes are more limited, such as studying the education premium, then merging results from the SCF and SLID seems a reasonable way to proceed. It is not possible here to assess the ability of SLID or LFS to extend the SCF for other applications. But this method could easily be adapted to address other similar questions.earnings; education premium; SLID; SCF

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