Economic Returns to Speaking ‘Standard Mandarin’ Among Migrants in China’s Urban Labour Market
AbstractThis paper uses data from the China Urban Labour Survey administered across 12 cities in 2005 to estimate the economic returns to speaking standard Mandarin among internal migrants in China’s urban labour market. The paper builds on studies that estimate the economic returns to international immigrants of being fluent in the major language of the destination country and studies that estimate the economic returns to proficiency in the national language amongst groups of people who speak a minority language. Importantly, we control for potential endogeneity bias in the estimates of the effect of language fluency on earnings. We find that for migrants as a whole, there are considerable economic returns to speaking standard Mandarin. We also find gender differences. While the coefficient on fluency in standard Mandarin is statistically significant and large for females, the coefficient on fluency is statistically insignificant for males. One possible explanation for this finding is that female migrant workers are engaged more in occupations which have greater contact with urban locals and hence the return to investment in language skills is higher. Another explanation is that female migrants are more likely to marry local men in the host city or have better verbal skills than men, meaning that they speak standard Mandarin with a less pronounced accent than men and, hence, suffer less labour market discrimination.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 28-09.
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia
Web page: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Gao, Wenshu & Smyth, Russell, 2011. "Economic returns to speaking 'standard Mandarin' among migrants in China's urban labour market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 342-352, April.
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Margaret Maurer-Fazio & Ngan Dinh, 2002.
"Differential Rewards to, and Contributions of, Education in Urban China’s Segmented Labor Markets,"
William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series
508, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Margaret Maurer-Fazio & Ngan Dinh, 2004. "Differential rewards to, and contributions of, education in urban China's segmented labor markets," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 173-189, October.
- Wenshu Gao & Russell Smyth, 2012. "Returns to Schooling in Urban China, 2001-2010: Evidence from Three Waves of the China Urban Labor Survey," Monash Economics Working Papers 50-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
- Wang, Le, 2012.
"Estimating Returns to Education when the IV Sample is Selective,"
IZA Discussion Papers
7103, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Wang, Le, 2013. "Estimating returns to education when the IV sample is selective," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 74-85.
- Magnani, Elisabetta & Zhu, Rong, 2012. "Gender wage differentials among rural–urban migrants in China," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 779-793.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Simon Angus).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.