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Language skills and earnings among legalized aliens

Author

Listed:
  • Paul W. Miller

    () (University of Western Australia, Department of Economics, Nedlands, WA 6907, Australia)

  • Barry R. Chiswick

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

Abstract

This paper uses the data on males and females from the 1989 Legalized Population Survey (LPS), a sample of aliens granted amnesty under 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, to analyse English language proficiency and earnings. We use a model of English language proficiency that is based on economic incentives, exposure and efficiency variables that measure the costs and benefits of aquiring English language skills. Consistent with the model, in this sample of former illegal aliens, English language proficiency is greater for those with more schooling, who immigrated at a younger age, who have been in the United States longer, with a more continous stay, and who have less access to other origin language speakers where they live. Earnings are higher by about 8% for men and 17% for women who are proficient in both speaking and reading English, compared to those lacking both skills.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:12:y:1999:i:1:p:63-89
    Note: Received: 13 February 1998/Accepted: 9 July 1998 received when this paper was presented at the American Economics Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, January 1997, The Midwest Economics Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, March 1998, and the Human Resources Workshop, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1997.-->
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigrants · illegal aliens · earning · language skills · legalized aliens;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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