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Immigrants, English Ability and the Digital Divide

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Author Info

  • Ono, Hiroshi

    ()
    (Texas A&M University)

  • Zavodny, Madeline

    ()
    (Agnes Scott College)

Abstract

This study examines the extent and causes of inequalities in information technology (IT) ownership and use between natives and immigrants in the U.S., focusing on the role of English ability. The results indicate that, during the period 1997-2003, immigrants were significantly less likely to have access to or use a computer and the Internet. Moreover, the gap in IT usage widened during that period. Immigrants (and natives) who live in Spanish-speaking households are less likely than individuals living in English-speaking households to have access to or use IT. Estimates using a measure of predicted English ability show that English ability is positively associated with IT access and use. The results suggest that much of the immigrant-native gap in IT usage is attributable to differences in English ability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3124.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Social Forces, 2008, 86 (4), 1455-1480
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3124

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Related research

Keywords: English ability; information technology; immigrants;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Vigdor, Jacob L. & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2008. "Is the Melting Pot Still Hot? Explaining the Resurgence of Immigrant Segregation," Scholarly Articles 2664275, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  4. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Stephen J. Trejo, 2003. "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(1).
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  7. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2001. "Cross-Country Technology Diffusion: The Case of Computers," NBER Working Papers 8130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hiroshi Ono & Madeline Zavodny, 2003. "Gender and the Internet," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 84(1), pages 111-121.
  9. Hargittai, Eszter, 1999. "Weaving the Western Web: explaining differences in Internet connectivity among OECD countries," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(10-11), pages 701-718, November.
  10. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
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  13. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 11986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Paul DiMaggio & Eszter Hargittai & W. Russell Neuman & John P. Robinson, 2001. "Social Implications Of The Internet," Working Papers, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies. 159, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies..
  17. Kristin F. Butcher & John DiNardo, 2002. "The Immigrant and native-born wage distributions: Evidence from United States censuses," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 97-121, October.
  18. Cindy Zoghi & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia, 2006. "Which Workers Gain Upon Adopting a Computer?," Working Papers, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 395, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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  20. 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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Cited by:
  1. Vergara, Sebastián & Grazzi, Matteo, 2011. "ICT access in Latin America. evidence from household level," MPRA Paper 33266, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Vergara, Sebastián & Rovira, Sebastián & Balboni, Mariana, 2011. "ICT in Latin America: A Microdata Analysis," MPRA Paper 34598, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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