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Bilingual schooling and earnings: Evidence from a language-in-education reform

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  • Cappellari, Lorenzo
  • Di Paolo, Antonio

Abstract

We estimate the wage effects of bilingual education for the first time using a reform that introduced bilingualism in Catalan schools. Variation across years of schooling and birth cohorts provides identification. We find substantial effects of bilingual education, which increases baseline returns to education by about 20%. Robustness checks show that effects stem from exposure to the language-in-education reform and are neither a consequence of unobservable determinants of educational attainment nor an artifact of education-cohort specific trends in wages. The reform was mostly beneficial for individuals of non-Catalan background from low parental background, thus achieving its goal of leveling the playing field in a bilingual society.

Suggested Citation

  • Cappellari, Lorenzo & Di Paolo, Antonio, 2018. "Bilingual schooling and earnings: Evidence from a language-in-education reform," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 90-101.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:90-101
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2018.03.007
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bilingual education; Returns to schooling; Language-in-education reform; Catalonia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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