IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/sae/ilrrev/v55y2002i3p473-492.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Language and the Earnings of Immigrants

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Dustmann
  • Arthur Van Soest

Abstract

Several studies, most of them employing straightforward regression analysis, have concluded that immigrants' proficiency in the language of their adopted country is correlated with their productivity, as measured by earnings. Two weaknesses of these studies are potential unobserved heterogeneity, which could result in over-estimated effects if overall ability is linked with language acquisition, and potential measurement error in the language proficiency measures, which would probably result in under-estimation of language effects. The present study, which uses panel data for a 10-year period in Germany, yields evidence that the latter bias tends to be much larger than the former, implying that language proficiency is far more important than suggested by the existing literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Dustmann & Arthur Van Soest, 2002. "Language and the Earnings of Immigrants," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(3), pages 473-492, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:55:y:2002:i:3:p:473-492
    DOI: 10.1177/001979390205500305
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/001979390205500305
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1177/001979390205500305?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christian Dustmann, 1999. "Temporary Migration, Human Capital, and Language Fluency of Migrants," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(2), pages 297-314, June.
    2. Geoffrey Carliner, 1981. "Wage Differences by Language Group and the Market for Language Skills in Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(3), pages 384-399.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Aldashev, Alisher & Gernandt, Johannes & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2009. "Language usage, participation, employment and earnings: Evidence for foreigners in West Germany with multiple sources of selection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 330-341, June.
    2. Budría, Santiago & Swedberg, Pablo, 2014. "The Impact of Multilingualism on Spanish Language Acquisition among Immigrants in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 8748, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht, 2011. "Migration and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 327-439, Elsevier.
    4. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2014. "International Migration and the Economics of Language," IZA Discussion Papers 7880, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Isphording, Ingo E. & Otten, Sebastian, 2014. "Linguistic barriers in the destination language acquisition of immigrants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 30-50.
    6. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "The effects of education, parental background and ethnic concentration on language," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 245-262.
    7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0274 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Catalina Amuedo‐Dorantes & Sara De La Rica, 2007. "Labour Market Assimilation of Recent Immigrants in Spain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 257-284, June.
    9. Longva, Pal, 2001. "Out-migration of immigrants : implications for assimilation analysis," Memorandum 04/2001, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    10. Javier Torres, 2013. "Repeat after me, my name is Javier: immigrants english prociency improvement four years after arrival," Working Papers 13-03, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    11. Sánchez-Jabba, Andrés Mauricio, 2014. "Bilingüísmo en Colombia," Chapters, in: Sánchez Jabba, Andrés & Otero Cortés, Andrea (ed.), Educación y desarrollo regional en Colombia, chapter 3, pages 103-128, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    12. Santiago Budría & Pablo Swedberg, 2019. "The impact of multilingualism on host language acquisition," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 741-766, November.
    13. Luthra, Renee Reichl, 2010. "Assimilation in a new context: educational attainment of the immigrant second generation in Germany," ISER Working Paper Series 2010-21, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    14. Christian Dustmann, 1999. "Temporary Migration, Human Capital, and Language Fluency of Migrants," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(2), pages 297-314, June.
    15. Alejandra Cattaneo & Rainer Winkelmann, 2005. "Earnings Differentials between German and French speakers in Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(II), pages 191-212, June.
    16. Chiswick, Barry R. & Wang, Zhiling, 2019. "Social Contacts, Dutch Language Proficiency and Immigrant Economic Performance in the Netherlands," GLO Discussion Paper Series 419, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    17. Chiswick, Barry R. & Taengnoi, Sarinda, 2007. "Occupational Choice of High Skilled Immigrants in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 2969, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Chiswick, Barry R., 2008. "The Economics of Language: An Introduction and Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 3568, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Victor Ginsburgh & Juan Prieto-Rodriguez, 2013. "Is there a Gender Bias in the Use of Foreign Languages in Europe?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 552-566, November.
    20. Teresa Casey & Christian Dustmann, 2008. "Intergenerational Transmission of Language Capital and Economic Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 4660-4687.
    21. Matloob Piracha & Stephane Mahuteau & Massimiliano Tani, 2010. "Selection Policy and Immigrants’ Remittance Behaviour," Studies in Economics 1003, School of Economics, University of Kent.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:55:y:2002:i:3:p:473-492. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: SAGE Publications (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.