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The Effects of Spanish-Language Background on Completed Schooling and Aptitude Test Scores

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  • Luis Locay

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

  • Tracy L. Regan

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

  • Arthur M. Diamond, Jr.

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Nebraska at Omaha)

Abstract

We investigate the e ect of speaking Spanish at home as a child on completed schooling and aptitude test scores using data on Hispanics who grew up in the U.S. from the NLSY79. We model the accumulation of traditional human capital and English uency, leading to the joint determination of schooling and test scores. We nd that speaking Spanish at home reduces test scores but has no signi cant e ect on completed schooling. The reduction in test scores is more dramatic the higher the education of the parents and when the choice of home language is endogenous.

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File URL: http://moya.bus.miami.edu/~tregan/SpanishLanguage.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0710.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 10 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming: Under Review
Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:0710

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Fax: (305) 284-2985
Web page: http://www.bus.miami.edu/faculty-and-research/academic-departments/economics/index.html
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Keywords: Hispanics; language; aptitude; ability; NLSY79;

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  1. Barry R. Chiswick & Yew Liang Lee & Paul W. Miller, 2004. "Parents and Children Talk: The Family Dynamics of English Language Proficiency," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0403, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Gonzalez, Arturo, 2003. "The education and wages of immigrant children: the impact of age at arrival," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 203-212, April.
  3. Thomas Bauer & Mathias Sinning, 2005. "Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition for Tobit Models," RWI Discussion Papers 0032, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  4. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1983. "Labor Market Discrimination against Hispanic and Black Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 570-79, November.
  5. 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.
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  7. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2002. "The Relative earnings of young Mexican, black, and white women," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 122-135, October.
  8. Hansen, Karsten T & Heckman, James J & Mullen, Kathleen J, 2003. "The effect of schooling and ability on achievement test scores," Working Paper Series 2003:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
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  11. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2006. "The Black-White Test Score Gap Through Third Grade," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 249-281.
  12. 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).
  13. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2008. "What Holds Back the Second Generation?: The Intergenerational Transmission of Language Human Capital Among Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 267-298.
  14. 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.
  15. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2001. "The Racial Wage Gap: The Importance of Labor Force Attachment Differences Across Black, Mexican and White Men," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-35, Claremont Colleges.
  16. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  17. Walter S. McManus, 1990. "Labor Market Effects of Language Enclaves: Hispanic Men in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(2), pages 228-252.
  18. Joshua Angrist & Aimee Chin & Ricardo Godoy, 2006. "Is Spanish-Only Schooling Responsible for the Puerto Rican Language Gap?," NBER Working Papers 12005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "The Academic Achievement Gap in Grades 3 to 8," NBER Working Papers 12207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-68, December.
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  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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