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Earnings and Linguistic Proficiency in a Bilingual Economy

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  • Henley, Andrew

    (University of Wales Aberystwyth)

  • Rhian Eleri Jones

Abstract

Bilingualism is a widespread phenomenon, yet its economic effects are under researched. Typically studies find that bilingual workers are disadvantaged. Governments often protect minority languages through official promotion of bilingualism, with potential economic consequences. This paper addresses the impact of bilingualism on earnings, using the example of Wales. Results show a positive raw differential of 8 to 10 per cent depending on definition of linguistic proficiency. The use of Welsh in the workplace is not directly productive. Nevertheless language choice and earnings appear to be endogenous. The differential can be entirely explained by a selection effect. This is consistent with the effectiveness of legislation to promote the minority language.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 with number 106.

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Date of creation: 04 Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2003:106

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Keywords: earnings; language choice; human capital;

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Cited by:
  1. Melanie K. Jones, 2004. "Rural labour markets: the welsh example," Local Economy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 226-248, August.
  2. Donald R. Williams, 2011. "Multiple language usage and earnings in Western Europe," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 372-393, July.
  3. Alexander Muravyev & Oleksandr Talavera, 2010. "Can State Language Policies Distort Students' Demand for Higher Education?," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 023, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  4. Sílvio Rendon, 2007. "The Catalan premium: language and employment in Catalonia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 669-686, July.
  5. Williams, Donald R., 2006. "The Economic Returns to Multiple Language Usage in Western Europe," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-07, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.

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