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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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Cited by:
  1. Kevin Lang & Erez Siniver, 2006. "The Return To English In A Non-English Speaking Country: Russian Immigrants And Native Israelis In Israel," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series, Boston University - Department of Economics dp-159, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Mehtabul Azam & Aimee Chin & Nishith Prakash, 2010. "The Returns to English-Language Skills in India," CReAM Discussion Paper Series, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London 1002, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Antonio Di Paolo & Aysit Tansel, 2013. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum 1322, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  4. Anghel, Brindusa & Cabrales, Antonio & Carro, Jesus, 2012. "Evaluating a bilingual education program in Spain: the impact beyond foreign language learning," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8995, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Pope, Devin G., 2008. "Benefits of bilingualism: Evidence from Mormon missionaries," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 234-242, April.
  6. Tobias Stoehr, 2013. "The Returns to Occupational Foreign Language Use: Evidence from Germany," Kiel Working Papers, Kiel Institute for the World Economy 1880, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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