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“Parents and Children Talk: English Language Proficiency within Immigrant Families”

  • Barry Chiswick


  • Yew Lee
  • Paul Miller

This paper extends the analysis of the acquisition of destination language proficiency among immigrants by explicitly incorporating interactions among family members—mother, father and children. Single equation, bivariate, and four-equation (multivariate) probit analyses are employed. Immigrant English language skills are greater the younger the age at migration, the longer the duration of residence, the higher the level of education, and for immigrants not from Asia. Large positive correlations in the unmeasured determinants of proficiency exist between spouses, between siblings, and between parents and children, although the latter relationship is stronger for the mother. The findings imply that learning takes place within the household. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 3 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 243-268

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:3:y:2005:i:3:p:243-268
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  1. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 905, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-73, October.
  3. Barry R. Chiswick & Yew Liang Lee & Paul W. Miller, 2002. "Family Matters: The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Destination Language Acquisition," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 02-06, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  4. Barry R. Chiswick, 1998. "Hebrew language usage: Determinants and effects on earnings among immigrants in Israel," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 253-271.
  5. 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.
  6. Barry Chiswick & Paul Miller, 2001. "A model of destination-language acquisition: Application to male immigrants in Canada," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 391-409, August.
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