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Nonparametric bounds on the returns to language skills

  • Libertad González

    (Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra and CREA, Barcelona, Spain)

This paper applies the theoretical literature on nonparametric bounds on treatment effects to the estimation of how limited English proficiency (LEP) affects wages and employment opportunities for Hispanic workers in the United States. I analyse the identifying power of several weak assumptions on treatment response and selection, and stress the interactions between LEP and education, occupation and immigration status. I show that the combination of two weak but credible assumptions provides informative upper bounds on the returns to language skills for certain subgroups of the population. Adding age at arrival as a monotone instrumental variable also provides informative lower bounds. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jae.795
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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca:80/jae/2005-v20.6/
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 20 (2005)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 771-795

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:20:y:2005:i:6:p:771-795
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  1. 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.
  2. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998. "Monotone Instrumental Variables: With an Application to the Returns to Schooling," Virginia Economics Online Papers 308, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Kossoudji, Sherrie A, 1988. "English Language Ability and the Labor Market Opportunities of Hispanic and East Asian Immigrant Men," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 205-28, April.
  5. Charles F. Manski, 1997. "Monotone Treatment Response," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1311-1334, November.
  6. Berman, Eli & Lang, Kevin & Siniver, Erez, 2003. "Language-skill complementarity: returns to immigrant language acquisition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 265-290, June.
  7. Geoffrey Carliner, 1996. "The Wages and Language Skills of U.S. Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 5763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1983. "Labor Market Discrimination against Hispanic and Black Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 570-79, November.
  10. Manski, C.F. & Nagin, D.S., 1996. "Bounding Disagreements About Treatment Effects: A Case Study of Sentencing and Recidivism," Working papers 9526r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  11. Manski, C.F. & Sandefur, G.D. & Mclanahan, S. & Powers, D., 1990. "Alternative Estimates Of The Effect Of Family Stucture During Adolescence On Hight School Graduation," Working papers 90-31, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  12. Geoffrey Carliner, 1995. "The Language Ability of U.S. Immigrants: Assimilation and Cohort Effects," NBER Working Papers 5222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. John V. Pepper, 2000. "The Intergenerational Transmission Of Welfare Receipt: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 472-488, August.
  15. 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.
  16. Manski, Charles F, 1990. "Nonparametric Bounds on Treatment Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 319-23, May.
  17. Manski, C.F., 1992. "Identification Problems in the Social Sciences," Working papers 9217, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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