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The Economic Returns to the Knowledge and Use of a Second Official Language: English in Quebec and French in the Rest-of-Canada

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  • Louis N. Christofides
  • Robert Swidinsky

Abstract

Knowledge of an additional language may be associated with enhanced earnings because of its actual value in the workplace, or its value as a screen for ability. Previously available data did not indicate whether bilingualism was actually practiced. The 2001 Census reports, for the first time, the primary and secondary languages used at work. Conditioning on both language knowledge and language use determines the additional earnings that can be attributed to the use of a second official language. We find substantial, statistically significant, rewards to second official language use in Quebec and insignificant effects in the Rest-of-Canada.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/cpp.36.2.137
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 36 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 137-158

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:36:y:2010:i:2:p:137-158

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  1. Gilles Grenier, 1987. "Earnings by Language Group in Quebec in 1980 and Emigration from Quebec between 1976 and 1981," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(4), pages 774-91, November.
  2. David Albouy, 2008. "The wage gap between Francophones and Anglophones: a Canadian perspective, 1970-2000," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1211-1238, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Jacques Mélitz, 2012. "A Framework for Analyzing Language and Welfare," Working Papers 2012-14, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  2. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2014. "International Migration and the Economics of Language," IZA Discussion Papers 7880, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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