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Immigrant Adjustment in Israel: Literacy and Fluency in Hebrew and Earnings

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Author Info

  • Repetto, Gaston

    (University of Illinois at Chicago)

  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    ()
    (George Washington University)

Abstract

This paper is an analysis of the determinates of Hebrew language speaking and writing skills and the determinates of earnings among adult male Jewish immigrants in Israel, using the 1972 Census of Israel. Among other findings, Hebrew speaking skills and Hebrew literacy are shown to increase with level of schooling and duration in Israel, but to decrease with age at migration and if many others in the area in which the respondent lives speak the same origin language. Country of origin and family structure also matter. Earnings are found to increase with level of schooling, duration in Israel, pre-immigration labor market experience and proficiency in both speaking and writing Hebrew. Those who speak Hebrew on a daily basis as a primary or only language and who can write a letter in Hebrew earn about 20 percent more than those who do neither. Controlling for these variables, as well as country of origin, English speakers earn about 15 percent more and Arabic speakers earn 2 percent less than Hebrew speaking immigrants who speak neither of these languages. Comparisons are made to a study of immigrants in the 1983 Census of Israel, and immigrants in other countries. Estimates of the rate of return to the investment in language training are presented.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp177.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 177.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Djajic, S. (ed.), International Migration: Trends, Policy and Economic Impact, New York 2001, 204-228
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp177

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Related research

Keywords: earnings; Hebrew; Israel; Immigrants; language;

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References

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  1. Yoram Weiss & Zvi Eckstein, 1998. "The Absorption of Highly Skilled Immigrants: Israel, 1990 - 1995," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 140, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  2. 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.
  3. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 905, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Language skills and earnings among legalized aliens," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 63-89.
  5. Friedberg, Rachel M, 2000. "You Can't Take It with You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 221-51, April.
  6. 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.
  7. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  8. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andersson, Fredrik & Konrad, Kai A, 2001. "Globalization and Human Capital Formation," CEPR Discussion Papers 2657, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 2002. "Immigrant earnings: Language skills, linguistic concentrations and the business cycle," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 31-57.
  3. de Baldini Rocha, Maúna Soares & Ponczek, Vladimir, 2011. "The effects of adult literacy on earnings and employment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 755-764, August.
  4. Godoy, Ricardo & Karlan, Dean S. & Rabindran, Shanti & Huanca, Tomas, 2005. "Do modern forms of human capital matter in primitive economies? Comparative evidence from Bolivia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 45-53, February.

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