Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Occupational selection in multilingual labor markets: the case of Catalonia

Contents:

Author Info

  • Núria Quella
  • Silvio Rendon

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to measure the effect that knowing the Catalan language has on individuals’ comparative advantage to perform certain jobs in Catalonia (Spain), where Catalan and Spanish coexist. Design/methodology/approach – Using census data for 1991 and 1996, and for individuals born in Spain, the paper first estimates a Probit model for individuals’ level of Catalan proficiency in order to correct for the possible endogeneity of Catalan knowledge, as it may be jointly determined with occupational selection or be a reflection of unobserved human capital or innate ability. Then, it estimates a bivariate Probit model for the probability of choosing a given occupation conditional on a given Catalan proficiency level. Findings – The paper finds that advanced proficiency in Catalan reinforces selection into being employed, being an entrepreneur, and into white-collar occupations and communication-intensive jobs. Being able to read and speak Catalan increases selection into white collar occupations by between 11 and 16 percentage points, while writing Catalan increases by 4 to 7 percentage points the probability of engaging in services, and government and educational activities. Practical implications – Because census data are cross-sectional panel effects on language selection cannot be analyzed. Nevertheless, the paper's results suggest that investing in learning the local language, at the firm and the government level, improves job matching and assimilation of workers to multilingual economies. The authors suggest a cost-benefit analysis to assess the effectiveness of language policies for further research. Originality/value – The results contribute to the scarce literature on the economic value of a language, i.e. on how much language knowledge as a form of human capital reinforces individuals’ comparative advantage to perform certain tasks.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0143-7720&volume=33&issue=8&articleid=17063346
Download Restriction: Cannot be freely downloaded

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 33 (2012)
Issue (Month): 8 (July)
Pages: 918-937

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:33:y:2012:i:8:p:918-937

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com

Order Information:
Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
Email:
Web: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/ijm.htm

Related research

Keywords: Competitive advantage; Immigration; Industry; Labour market; Languages; Occupational selection; Skill premium; Skills; Spain;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2011. "Matching Language Proficiency to Occupation: The Effect on Immigrants' Earnings," SULCIS Working Papers 2011:4, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  2. Christian Dustmann & Arthur van Soest, 2001. "Language Fluency And Earnings: Estimation With Misclassified Language Indicators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 663-674, November.
  3. Angrist, Joshua D & Lavy, Victor, 1997. "The Effect of a Change in Language of Instruction on the Returns to Schooling in Morocco," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S48-76, January.
  4. Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 2002. "Immigrant earnings: Language skills, linguistic concentrations and the business cycle," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 31-57.
  6. Angrist, Joshua & Chin, Aimee & Godoy, Ricardo, 2008. "Is Spanish-only schooling responsible for the Puerto Rican language gap?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 105-128, February.
  7. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
  8. William K. Hutchinson, 2002. "Does Ease of Communication Increase Trade? Commonality of Language and Bilateral Trade," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0217, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  9. Hutchinson, William K, 2002. "Does Ease of Communication Increase Trade? Commonality of Language and Bilateral Trade," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(5), pages 544-56, December.
  10. Bedassa Tadesse & Roger White, 2010. "Cultural distance as a determinant of bilateral trade flows: do immigrants counter the effect of cultural differences?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 147-152.
  11. Nicolas Sauter, 2009. "Talking Trade: Language Barriers in Intra-Canadian Commerce," FIW Working Paper series 023, FIW.
  12. Eric D. Gould, 2002. "Rising Wage Inequality, Comparative Advantage, and the Growing Importance of General Skills in the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 105-147, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Antonio Di Paolo & Josep Lluís Raymond, 2010. "Language knowledge and earnings in Catalonia," Working Papers wpdea1001, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  2. Antonio Di Paolo & Aysit Tansel, 2013. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," ERC Working Papers 1311, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Nov 2013.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:33:y:2012:i:8:p:918-937. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.