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Globalization and the Returns to Speaking English in South Africa

In: Globalization and Poverty

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  • James Levinsohn

Abstract

This paper takes a novel approach to trying to disentangle the impact of globalization on wages by focusing on how the return to speaking English, the international language of commerce, changed as South Africa re-integrated with the global economy after 1993. The paper finds that the return to speaking English increased overall and that within racial groups the return increased primarily for Whites but not for Blacks.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Ann Harrison, 2007. "Globalization and Poverty," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number harr06-1, October.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10714.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10714

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    References

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    1. Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2002. "The English language fluency and occupational success of ethnic minority immigrant men living in English metropolitan areas," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 137-160.
    2. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2008. "What Holds Back the Second Generation?: The Intergenerational Transmission of Language Human Capital Among Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 267-298.
    3. Murray Leibbrandt & James Levinsohn & Justin McCrary, 2005. "Incomes in South Africa Since the Fall of Apartheid," NBER Working Papers 11384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Thomas, Duncan, 1996. "Education across Generations in South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 330-34, May.
    5. Case, Anne & Deaton, Angus, 1998. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1330-61, September.
    6. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2004. "Language Skills and Earnings: Evidence from Childhood Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 481-496, May.
    7. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2006. "Traditional Institutions Meet the Modern World: Caste, Gender, and Schooling Choice in a Globalizing Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1225-1252, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Antonio Di Paolo & Aysýt Tansel, 2013. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," Working Papers, Turkish Economic Association 2013/14, Turkish Economic Association.
    2. Ku, Hyejin & Zussman, Asaf, 2010. "Lingua franca: The role of English in international trade," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 250-260, August.

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