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The Return to English in a Non-English Speaking Country: Russian Immigrants and Native Israelis in Israel

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Listed:
  • Lang Kevin

    (Boston University, NBER and IZA)

  • Siniver Erez

    (College of Management - Academic Studies)

Abstract

Using a unique sample of Russian immigrants and native Israelis, we examine the return to English knowledge. Panel and cross-section estimates of the return to English are substantial for highly educated immigrants and natives. Hebrew and English language acquisition contribute to immigrant/native earnings convergence, but most convergence is explained by other factors. While immigrants with low levels of education do not benefit from knowing English, native Israelis may. Conditional on occupation, English and Hebrew acquisition are largely orthogonal. Therefore earlier work on the importance of knowledge of the host-country language (Hebrew) is not significantly biased by unmeasured English knowledge.

Suggested Citation

  • Lang Kevin & Siniver Erez, 2009. "The Return to English in a Non-English Speaking Country: Russian Immigrants and Native Israelis in Israel," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-30, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:50
    DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.2274
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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