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Hebrew language usage: Determinants and effects on earnings among immigrants in Israel


  • Barry R. Chiswick

    () (Department of Economics , University of Illinois at Chicago, 601 S. Morgan Street , Chicago, IL 60607-7121, USA)


This paper uses the 1983 Census of Israel to analyze Hebrew speaking skills and the effects of Hebrew fluency on the earnings of adult male immigrants. Hebrew fluency increases with a longer duration in Israel, the presence of children in the household, marrying after immigration, living in an area in which a smaller proportion speak one`s mother tongue, a younger age at migration, a higher level of schooling and varies by country of birth. Earnings increase monotonically with the use of Hebrew. Speaking English as a second language is associated with higher earnings, even when country of origin is held constant.

Suggested Citation

  • Barry R. Chiswick, 1998. "Hebrew language usage: Determinants and effects on earnings among immigrants in Israel," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(2), pages 253-271.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:11:y:1998:i:2:p:253-271
    Note: Received: 9 June 1997/Accepted: 6 November 1997 received on an earlier draft from Joshua Angrist and Michael Beenstock, as well as the conference participants, are appreciated. Helpful comments by Klaus F. Zimmermann and two anonymous referees are gratefully acknowledged. Responsible editor: Klaus F. Zimmermann-->

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    More about this item


    Immigrants · language · Israel;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • 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


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