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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Language, immigration, and cities Li, Qiang


This dissertation analyzes the complex relationships between language, immigration, and labor and housing market outcomes. First, I model the urban labor market as segmented by language barriers. The prediction of this segmentation theory is confirmed by Canadian Census data, which allow me to identify a worker's labor market segment by her work language. Second, I explore whether the housing market reflects people's willingness to pay for higher quality social-ethnic interactions. By combining housing transaction data and Census information, I am able to test such a relationship with positive results. Finally, I ask what properties housing price series have if some people have better knowledge of the future immigration/migration flows to a city. Under this setup, the price series become serially correlated and the price volatility varies over time. The model also explains the long-standing price-volume relationship in housing transaction data.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International