The Economic Returns to the Knowledge and Use of a Second Official Language: English in Quebec and French in the Rest-of-Canada
AbstractIn a country with two official languages, such as Canada, the demand for bilingualism may lead individuals born with one mother tongue to acquire the second official language. Knowledge of an additional official language may be associated with enhanced earnings for two reasons; its actual value in the workplace, or its value as a screening mechanism for ability. Previously available data did not indicate whether bilingual language skills were actually being used at work. However, the 2001 Census reports, for the first time, the primary and the secondary languages that an individual uses at work. Conditioning on both language knowledge and language use allow us to estimate the additional earnings that can be attributed to the use of a second official language. We find very substantial, statistically significant, rewards to second official use in Quebec and much smaller, not statistically significant, effects in the Rest-of-Canada.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Cyprus Department of Economics in its series University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics with number 04-2010.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Web page: http://www.econ.ucy.ac.cy
Wages; language knowledge; language use;
Other versions of this item:
- Louis N. Christofides & Robert Swidinsky, 2010. "The Economic Returns to the Knowledge and Use of a Second Official Language: English in Quebec and French in the Rest-of-Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 36(2), pages 137-158, June.
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- Jacques Melitz, 2012. "A Framework for Analyzing Language and Welfare," Heriot-Watt University Economics Discussion Papers 1212, Department of Economics, School of Management and Languages, Heriot Watt University.
- Jacques Mélitz, 2012. "A Framework for Analyzing Language and Welfare," Working Papers 2012-14, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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