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Learn English, Not the Local Language! Ethnic Russians in the Baltic States

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  • Ott Toomet

Abstract

This paper analyzes the return to dominant language fluency for ethnic Russians in the Baltic States. We look at male workers using Estonian Labor Force Survey for years 2000-2010 and the 1998 wave of a panel of high-school graduates of 1982. The results indicate that the ethnic Russian men enjoy little income premium on their skills of the dominant language. We identify positive returns only in the low end of the income distribution and in public administration sector. Surprisingly, the returns to English fluency are far larger. These outcomes point toward segregation and discrimination at the upper-end hiring.

Suggested Citation

  • Ott Toomet, 2011. "Learn English, Not the Local Language! Ethnic Russians in the Baltic States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 526-531, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:526-31
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Waisman, Gisela & Larsen, Birthe, 2007. "Do attitudes towards immigrants matter?," Working Papers 11-2007, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    2. David Albouy, 2008. "The wage gap between Francophones and Anglophones: a Canadian perspective, 1970-2000," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1211-1238, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Haining & Cheng, Zhiming & Smyth, Russell, 2016. "Language and consumption," China Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 135-151.
    2. Antonio Di Paolo & Aysit Tansel, 2015. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(4), pages 407-421, April.
    3. Stöhr, Tobias, 2015. "The returns to occupational foreign language use: Evidence from Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 86-98.
    4. Raul Eamets, 2012. "Labour Market in Estonia: Responding to the Global Finance Crisis," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(2), pages 34-39, 08.
    5. Ott Toomet & Marco van der Leij & Meredith Rolfe, 2012. "Social Networks and Labor Market Inequality between Ethnicities and Races," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-120/II, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Alícia Adserà, 2015. "Language and culture as drivers of migration," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 164-164.
    7. Toomet, Ott & Van Der Leij, Marco & Rolfe, Meredith, 2013. "Social networks and labor market inequality between ethnicities and races," Network Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 321-352, December.
    8. Wang, Haining & Smyth, Russell & Cheng, Zhiming, 2017. "The economic returns to proficiency in English in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 91-104.
    9. repec:zbw:rwirep:0398 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Isphording, Ingo, 2013. "Returns to Local and Foreign Language Skills – Causal Evidence from Spain," Ruhr Economic Papers 398, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    11. Haining Wang & Zhiming Cheng & Russell Smyth, 2016. "Language, Health Outcomes and Health Inequality," Monash Economics Working Papers 43-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    12. Frantisek Cech & Jozef Barunik, 2017. "Measurement of Common Risk Factors: A Panel Quantile Regression Model for Returns," Working Papers IES 2017/20, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Sep 2017.
    13. repec:ces:ifodic:v:10:y:2012:i:2:p:18948070 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2017:n:416 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Ingo Isphording, 2013. "Returns to Local and Foreign Language Skills – Causal Evidence from Spain," Ruhr Economic Papers 0398, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    16. Donado, Alejandro, 2014. "Foreign Languages and their Impact on Income and Unemployment," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100288, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:142-158 is not listed on IDEAS

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