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The Effects of Official English Laws on Limited-English-Proficient Workers

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  • Zavodny, Madeline

Abstract

Workers with limited English skills may suffer adverse effects when states declare English the official language. If employers believe official English laws allow or require them to adopt workplace English-only rules that lower the demand for limited-English-proficient workers, such laws may harm individuals who do not speak English well. Using data from the 1980 and 1990 censuses, I estimate whether the earnings of limited-English-proficient workers who live in states that adopted official English laws declined relative to other workers. The results suggest a substantial decline in the annual earnings of men with limited English proficiency. Copyright 2000 by University of Chicago Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 427-52

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:18:y:2000:i:3:p:427-52

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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References

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  1. Matsusaka, John G, 1992. "Economics of Direct Legislation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 541-71, May.
  2. Geoffrey Carliner, 1996. "The Wages and Language Skills of U.S. Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 5763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Evelina Tainer, 1988. "English Language Proficiency and the Determination of Earnings among Foreign-Born Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(1), pages 108-122.
  6. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-68, December.
  7. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-70, April.
  8. McManus, Walter & Gould, William & Welch, Finis, 1983. "Earnings of Hispanic Men: The Role of English Language Proficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 101-30, April.
  9. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
  10. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-88, April.
  11. Gilles Grenier, 1984. "The Effects of Language Characteristics on the Wages of Hispanic-American Males," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(1), pages 35-52.
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Cited by:
  1. Maya N. Federman & David E. Harrington & Kathy J. Krynski, 2006. "The Impact of State Licensing Regulations on Low-Skilled Immigrants: The Case of Vietnamese Manicurists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 237-241, May.

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