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The Economic Returns to Multiple Language Usage in Western Europe

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  • Williams, Donald R.

    (Kent State University (USA) and CEPS/INSTEAD (Luxembourg))

Abstract

To what extent are there economic returns to learning a second or third language? Do the benefits differ according to country? This paper examines the return to multi-lingualism in the workplace. In particular, we estimate the effect that using an additional language in one’s job has on earnings for a sample of workers in the European Community Household Panel survey. Log-earnings regressions are estimated by country with controls for standard human capital, job, and personal characteristics. Preliminary results indicate that the use of a second language in the workplace raises earnings by about 5 to 10 percent, but the results are sensitive to the specification used and vary across countries, occupations, and gender.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD in its series IRISS Working Paper Series with number 2006-07.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:2006-07

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  1. Leslie, Derek & Lindley, Joanne, 2001. "The Impact of Language Ability on Employment and Earnings of Britain's Ethnic Communities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 587-606, November.
  2. Alejandra Cattaneo & Rainer Winkelmann, 2005. "Earnings Differentials between German and French speakers in Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(II), pages 191-212, June.
  3. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2003. "Language proficiency and labour market performance of immigrants in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 695-717, 07.
  4. Geoffrey Carliner, 1981. "Wage Differences by Language Group and the Market for Language Skills in Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(3), pages 384-399.
  5. Christian Dustmann & Arthur van Soest, 2001. "Language Fluency And Earnings: Estimation With Misclassified Language Indicators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 663-674, November.
  6. Franco Peracchi, 2002. "The European Community Household Panel: A review," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 63-90.
  7. Barry R. Chiswick, 1998. "Hebrew language usage: Determinants and effects on earnings among immigrants in Israel," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 253-271.
  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. Andrew Henley & Rhian Eleri Jones, 2005. "Earnings And Linguistic Proficiency In A Bilingual Economy," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 73(3), pages 300-320, 06.
  10. Ingrid Tucci & Gert G. Wagner, 2003. "Fremdsprachenkenntnisse als wichtige Zusatzqualifikation im Dienstleistungssektor," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(41), pages 611-615.
  11. 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.
  12. McManus, Walter S, 1985. "Labor Market Costs of Language Disparity: An Interpretation of Hispanic Earnings Differences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 818-27, September.
  13. Kossoudji, Sherrie A, 1988. "English Language Ability and the Labor Market Opportunities of Hispanic and East Asian Immigrant Men," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 205-28, April.
  14. Lindley, Joanne, 2002. "The English Language Fluency and Earnings of Ethnic Minorities in Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(4), pages 467-87, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stéphane Mussard & Michel Terraza, 2007. "Décompositions des mesures d'inégalité : le cas des coefficients de Gini et d'entropie," Cahiers de recherche 07-09, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
  2. 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).
  3. Valentova, Marie, 2007. "Attitudes to Family Policy Arrangements in Relation to Attitudes to Family and division of Labour between Genders," IRISS Working Paper Series 2007-05, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  4. Ingo Isphording, 2013. "Returns to Local and Foreign Language Skills – Causal Evidence from Spain," Ruhr Economic Papers 0398, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  5. Voicu, Malina & Voicu, Bogdan & Strapcova, Katarina, 2006. "Housework and gender inequality across Europe," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-11, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  6. Aurélien Portuese, 2012. "Law and economics of the European multilingualism," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 279-325, October.
  7. Sirovatka, Tomas & Valentova, Marie, 2006. "The Legitimacy of Redistribution: the Czech Republic in International Comparison," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-12, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  8. Voicu, Bogdan & Voicu, Malina & Strapcova, Katarina, 2007. "Engendered housework. A cross-european analysis," IRISS Working Paper Series 2007-07, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  9. Tanova, Cem, 2006. "Using Job Embeddedness Factors to Explain Voluntary Turnover in Five European Countries," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-04, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  10. Kankarash, Milosh & Moors, Guy, 2007. "Heterogeneity in solidarity attitudes in Europe. Insights from a multiple-group latent-class factor approach," IRISS Working Paper Series 2007-06, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD, revised Jun 2007.

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