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Listening to What the World Says: Bilingualism and Earnings in the United States

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Author Info

  • Albert Saiz

    (University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School)

  • Elena Zoido

    (LECG Europe)

Abstract

Is there a shortage of critical foreign language skills in the United States? Recent concerns about national security and economic globalization suggest increased demand and wage premia for foreign language speakers. The use of English as the international language, however, suggests a decrease in demand for foreign language skills in the United States. To address this question, we study a representative sample of U.S. college graduates. Ordinary least squares regressions with controls for cognitive ability, nonparametric methods based on the propensity score, and panel data methods suggest a 2%-3% wage premium for college graduates who can speak a second language. © 2005 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 87 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 523-538

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:87:y:2005:i:3:p:523-538

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Cited by:
  1. Di Paolo, Antonio & Tansel, Aysit, 2013. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 7724, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kevin Lang & Erez Siniver, 2006. "The Return to English in a Non-English Speaking Country: Russian Immigrants and Native Israelis in Israel," NBER Working Papers 12464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Brindusa Anghel & Antonio Cabrales & Jesús M. Carro, 2012. "Evaluating a bilingual education program in Spain: the impact beyond foreign language learning," Economics Working Papers we1214, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  4. Tobias Stoehr, 2013. "The Returns to Occupational Foreign Language Use: Evidence from Germany," Kiel Working Papers 1880, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Pope, Devin G., 2008. "Benefits of bilingualism: Evidence from Mormon missionaries," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 234-242, April.
  6. Mehtabul Azam & Aimee Chin & Nishith Prakash, 2011. "The Returns to English-Language Skills in India," Working papers 2012-29, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

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