Age at Migration, Language Proficiency and Socio-economic Outcomes: Evidence from Australia
AbstractThis paper seeks to estimate the causal effects of language proficiency on the earnings and social assimilation of Australian immigrants. Identifying the effects of languages on socio-economic outcomes is inherently difficult, due to the endogeneity of the language skills. This study exploits the phenomenon that younger children learn languages more easily than older children to construct an instrumental variable for language proficiency. To achieve this, we exploit the age at arrival of immigrants who came as children from Anglophone and non-Anglophone countries. We find English proficiency to have a significant positive effect on wages and promotions among adults who immigrated to Australia as children. English proficiency decreases the perceived risk of job loss, but leads to lower levels of health and life satisfaction. People with better English skills take more risks and drink more, and English proficiency increases the age at marriage. Partners of immigrants with better English skills drink more in general. Parents' proficiency in speaking English has a significant, positive effect on their children's English-speaking proficiency, high school achievements and occupational prestige. We show that IV estimates cannot be explained by alternative theories such as reverse causality and immigrants from English-speaking countries being a poor control group for non-language age-at-arrival effects.
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 18-13.
Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
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
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- 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, and Vacancies - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-05-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2013-05-19 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-MIG-2013-05-19 (Economics of Human Migration)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
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.