Language-skill complementarity: returns to immigrant language acquisition
We examine the effect of language acquisition on the growth of immigrants' earnings. We gathered data on recent Soviet immigrants to Israel that include retrospective questions on earnings and language ability on entry into their current job. Language acquisition is found to interact positively with occupation level. Immigrant programmers and computer technicians have a return to tenure about three percentage points higher than that of natives; improved Hebrew language skills account for between 2/3 and 3/4 of that differential wage growth. In contrast, construction workers and gas station attendants have no convergence of wages to those of natives and language acquisition has no discernible effect on their wages. For these less skilled workers the estimated return' to Hebrew proficiency in the cross-section is entirely due to ability bias. This finding may invite a reinterpretation of other studies on the returns to language acquisition for low wage immigrants.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John Hayfron, 2001. "Language training, language proficiency and earnings of immigrants in Norway," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(15), pages 1971-1979.
- McManus, Walter & Gould, William & Welch, Finis, 1983. "Earnings of Hispanic Men: The Role of English Language Proficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 101-30, April.
- Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Language skills and earnings among legalized aliens," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(1), pages 63-89.
- Evelina Tainer, 1988. "English Language Proficiency and the Determination of Earnings among Foreign-Born Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(1), pages 108-122.
- Dustmann, Christian, 1994.
"Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(2), pages 133-56.
- Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 905, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- LaLonde, Robert J & Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Immigrants in the American Labor Market: Quality, Assimilation, and Distributional Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 297-302, May.
- Christian Dustmann & Arthur Van Soest, 2002.
"Language and the Earnings of Immigrants,"
Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(3), pages 473-492, April.
- Yoram Weiss & Robert M. Sauer & Menachem Gotlibovski, 2003.
"Immigration, Search, and Loss of Skill,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 557-592, July.
- Dustmann, Christian, 1996.
"Temporary Migration, Human Capital, and Language Fluency of Migrants,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1376, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Dustmann, Christian, 1999. " Temporary Migration, Human Capital, and Language Fluency of Migrants," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(2), pages 297-314, June.
- Christian Dustmann, 1996. "Temporary Migration, Human capital and Language Fluency of Migrants," Discussion Papers 96-21 ISSN 1350-6722, University College London, Department of Economics.
- Dustmann, C. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1998.
"Language Fluency and Earnings : Estimation with Misclassified Language Indicators,"
1998-120, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Christian Dustmann & Arthur van Soest, 2001. "Language Fluency And Earnings: Estimation With Misclassified Language Indicators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 663-674, November.
- Borjas, George J, 1987.
"Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
- Geoffrey Carliner, 1995. "The Language Ability of U.S. Immigrants: Assimilation and Cohort Effects," NBER Working Papers 5222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Geoffrey Carliner, 1996. "The Wages and Language Skills of U.S. Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 5763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carliner, Geoffrey, 1980. "Wages, Earnings and Hours of First, Second, and Third Generation American Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 87-102, January.
- Rachel M. Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact of Mass Migration on the Israeli Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1373-1408.
- 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.
- McManus, Walter S, 1985. "Labor Market Costs of Language Disparity: An Interpretation of Hispanic Earnings Differences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 818-27, September.
- Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
- George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
- Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:10:y:2003:i:3:p:265-290. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.