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The Complementarity of Language and Other Human Capital: Immigrant Earnings in Canada

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  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    ()
    (George Washington University)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of language practice on earnings among adult male immigrants in Canada using the 1991 Census. Earnings are shown to increase with schooling, pre-immigration experience and duration in Canada, as well as with proficiency in the official languages (English and French). Using selectivity correction techniques, it is shown that there is complementarity between language skills and both schooling and pre-immigration experience. That is, greater proficiency in the official languages enhances the effects on earnings of schooling and pre-immigration labor market experience. Language proficiency and post-migration experience appear to be substitutes, that is, those with greater proficiency have a smaller effect of time in Canada on earnings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 451.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Education Review, 2003, 22 (5), 469-480
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp451

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Keywords: language skills; human capital; schooling; immigrants; earnings; Canada;

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References

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  1. Barry R. Chiswick, 2000. "A Model of Immigrant Language Acquisition: Application to Male Immigrants in Canada," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 149, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  2. Abbott, M.G. & Beach, C.M., 1988. "Immigrant Earnings Differentials and Cohort Effects in Canada," Papers 1988-1, Queen's at Kingston - Sch. of Indus. Relat. Papers in Industrial Relations.
  3. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigrant Earnings: Language Skills, Linguistic Concentrations and the Business Cycle," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 152, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  5. Barry Chiswick & Paul Miller, 2001. "A model of destination-language acquisition: Application to male immigrants in Canada," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 391-409, August.
  6. Joseph Schaafsma & Arthur Sweetman, 2001. "Immigrant earnings: age at immigration matters," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1066-1099, November.
  7. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
  8. Pendakur, K. & Pendakur, R., 1999. "Speaking in Tongues: Language as both Human Capital and Ethnicity," Discussion Papers dp99-10, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  9. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chiswick, Barry R., 2008. "The Economics of Language: An Introduction and Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 3568, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Joop Hartog & Aslan Zorlu, 2009. "How important is homeland education for refugees’ economic position in The Netherlands?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 219-246, January.
  3. Nong Zhu & Denise Helly, 2014. "L’inégalité, la pauvreté et l’intégration économique des immigrants au Canada," CIRANO Working Papers 2014s-15, CIRANO.
  4. Leping, Kristian-Olari & Toomet, Ott, 2008. "Emerging ethnic wage gap: Estonia during political and economic transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 599-619, December.
  5. Budría, Santiago & Swedberg, Pablo, 2012. "The Impact of Language Proficiency on Immigrants' Earnings in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 6957, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Green, David A. & Worswick, Christopher, 2012. "Immigrant earnings profiles in the presence of human capital investment: Measuring cohort and macro effects," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 241-259.
  7. Boyd, Monica, 2009. "Language at Work: The Impact of Linguistic Enclaves on Immigrant Economic Integration," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-50, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Sep 2009.
  8. Albert Saiz & Elena Zoido, 2002. "The returns to speaking a second language," Working Papers 02-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Barry R. Chiswick, 2000. "A Model of Immigrant Language Acquisition: Application to Male Immigrants in Canada," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 149, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  10. Clausen, Jens & Heinesen, Eskil & Hummelgaard, Hans & Husted, Leif & Rosholm, Michael, 2008. "The Effect of Integration Policies on the Time until Regular Employment of Newly Arrived Immigrants: Evidence from Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 3849, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Barry Chiswick & Paul Miller, 2007. "Computer usage, destination language proficiency and the earnings of natives and immigrants," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 129-157, June.
  12. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz, 2011. "Migration and Education," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1105, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  13. George Messinis, 2009. "Earnings and Languages in the Family: Second-Generation Australians," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 85(s1), pages S59-S73, 09.
  14. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2014. "International Migration and the Economics of Language," IZA Discussion Papers 7880, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. 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.
  16. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2007. "The Critical Period Hypothesis for Language Learning: What the 2000 US Census Says," IZA Discussion Papers 2575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Domeland, Dorte, 2007. "Trade and human capital accumulation: evidence from U.S. immigrants," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4144, The World Bank.
  18. Nicolaas Groenewold & Alfred J Hagger & John R Madden, 2002. "The Efficiency of Federal Inter-Regional Transfers Under a Regime of Politically-Maximizing Regional Governments," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 02-03, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  19. Zibrowius, Michael, 2011. "Convergence or divergence? Immigrant wage assimilation patterns in Germany," IWQW Discussion Paper Series 03/2011, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik und Quantitative Wirtschaftsforschung (IWQW).

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