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

  • Ott Toomet
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.3.526
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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 526-31

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:526-31
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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. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-88, April.
    3. 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.
    4. M. Angeles Carnero Fernández & Lídia Farré Olalla & Mariano Bosch, 2009. "Information and discrimination in the rental housing market: evidence from a field experiment," Working Papers. Serie AD 2009-21, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    5. 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.
    6. Rachel M. Friedberg, 1996. "You Can't Take It With You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 5837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Jonathan Guryan, 2008. "Prejudice and Wages: An Empirical Assessment of Becker's The Economics of Discrimination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 773-809, October.
    8. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
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