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Benefits of bilingualism: Evidence from Mormon missionaries


  • Pope, Devin G.


Several studies have argued that learning a foreign language has the potential to increase the general cognitive ability and test scores of students. In this analysis, the Mormon missionary program is used to test whether or not students who were assigned to learn a foreign language performed better in college. The results indicate that the increase in GPA due to serving a Mormon mission is the same for students that were assigned to a foreign-speaking mission relative to students that were assigned to an English-speaking mission. These results are robust to controlling for factors such as choice of major and class load.

Suggested Citation

  • Pope, Devin G., 2008. "Benefits of bilingualism: Evidence from Mormon missionaries," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 234-242, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:27:y:2008:i:2:p:234-242

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Wise, David A, 1975. "Academic Achievement and Job Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 350-366, June.
    6. Albert Saiz & Elena Zoido, 2005. "Listening to What the World Says: Bilingualism and Earnings in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 523-538, August.
    7. Jeff Grogger & Eric Eide, 1995. "Changes in College Skills and the Rise in the College Wage Premium," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 280-310.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stöhr, Tobias, 2015. "The returns to occupational foreign language use: Evidence from Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 86-98.

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