Professor Susumu Imai

Affiliation: Collaborative Research Department for Public Policy Studies (Faculty School of Economics and Business of Economics)

Areas of Specialization: Applied Econometrics, Industrial Organization, Labor Economics

Keywords of research: immigration, occupation, language ability, labor market, poverty

Alma mater high school: Hokkaido Sapporo Kita High School

Final Education: University of Minnesota Graduate School School of Economics and Business

HP address:

*This article was originally published in the 4th issue of "Frontiers of Knowledge" and has been re-edited for the web.

Economic Problems of Accepting Immigrants

Japan's labor force is expected to further decline due to the declining birthrate and aging population. Therefore, many intellectuals are of the opinion that Japan needs to actively accept immigrants in order to secure new labor in the labor market. However, there is concern that migrant workers will become unskilled workers or unemployed, increasing the number of poor people.

Immigration Policy in Canada and Australia: Point Systems

Canada and Australia have established a point system for accepting immigrants, and preferentially accept highly educated and highly skilled workers and their families who have engaged in knowledge-intensive occupations such as high-tech industries that are desirable for the host country. I came.

An empirical analysis of the point system: occupation and language ability of immigrants

My co-authors and I have empirically analyzed to what extent such immigration policies have achieved the goal of industrial sophistication, and where potential problems lie. First, let's take a look at what kind of jobs men who immigrated to Canada engaged in in their home countries, and what they did after immigration (see Table 1). The table shows the average deviation of the five basic skills required for the job: communication, analysis, mechanical ability, eyesight, and physical strength.

Table 1: Occupations Migrant Workers Work in Canada

As you can see from the above results, the Canadian government succeeded in immigrating workers with highly intellectual work experience. I work in a demanding job. Why aren't they getting the jobs that the Canadian government expected them to do?

Table 2: Occupations and Language Proficiency in Canada for Migrant Workers.

Table 2 shows the average of the deviation of the proficiency requirements of migrant workers working in Canada minus the deviation of the proficiency required for their country of origin, by level of Canada's official language. doing. Looking at this table, it can be seen that the higher the level of conversation in the official language, the less the decline in the level of intellectual requirements for occupations after immigration, and the less the increase in the level of physical ability required. The reason for this can be considered as follows. It is conceivable that the higher the level of intellectual work performed, the higher the level of linguistic ability required during the work and when reporting the results. Because the Canadian Immigration Service's point system neglects linguistic ability, even if they take in intellectual workers, they are not able to demonstrate their advanced intellectual skills.

Considerations on Japan's Immigration Policy

It is assumed that the lack of language proficiency in the official language (Japanese) of immigrant workers accepted by Japan is more serious than in Canada. Therefore, it is necessary to make further efforts to educate migrant workers in Japanese. In addition, some companies, universities, etc. may partially introduce English as an internal official language as a solution. To promote internationalization in the true sense of the word, means that not only Japanese people will be active in foreign countries, but also foreigners will be active in Japan to some extent. Our role as economists is to investigate objective facts about the economic and social effects of immigration and, based on those results, to consider better immigration policies for both immigrants and Japanese society. .


Imai Susumu, Derek Stacey and Casey Warman: "From Engineer to Taxi Driver? Language Proficiency and the Occupational Skills of Immigrants", University of Technology Sydney, Economics Disciple Group Working Paper No. 18, 2014.