Many recent empirical studies have shown that recent cohorts of immigrants to western countries face more hardship than previous cohorts. In Quebec, for instance, the welfare dependency rates of immigrants have steadily increased between 1982 and 1998 and are insensitive to fluctuations in the business cycles, contrary to what has been observed for natives.
This study seeks to better understand the process of economic and social integration of immigrants to Quebec as seen through their dependency toward the employment-assistance program (welfare benefits program), relative to that of the natives. The analysis focuses on the dynamics of participation to the employment-assistance program between January 1975 and March 2000. The study is divided into separate sections:
1. A comparative analysis of schooling and income between natives and immigrants of Quebec, Ontario and British-Columbia.
2. A descriptive analysis of socio-demographic characteristics and participation rates in the employment-insurance program between 1975 and 2000.
3. An econometric analysis of the dynamics of program participation that highlights the contribution of many factors to the observed dynamics as well as the immigration status.

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