IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/jopoec/v15y2002i1p137-160.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The English language fluency and occupational success of ethnic minority immigrant men living in English metropolitan areas

Author

Listed:
  • Michael A. Shields

    (Public Sector Economics Research Centre, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK)

  • Stephen Wheatley Price

    (Public Sector Economics Research Centre, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK)

Abstract

This paper examines two crucial aspects of the assimilation experience of ethnic minority immigrants in the United Kingdom. It explores the determinants of their English language (speaking) fluency and the key role such skills play in their occupational success. Our sample is derived from the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities undertaken in 1994. Uniquely this data contains an interviewer-assessed measure of English language fluency. Importantly, we also attempt to control for possible endogeneity bias in the estimates of the effect of language fluency on occupational success. We find that fluency is associated with significantly higher mean hourly occupational wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2002. "The English language fluency and occupational success of ethnic minority immigrant men living in English metropolitan areas," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(1), pages 137-160.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:15:y:2002:i:1:p:137-160
    Note: Received: 26 November 1999/Accepted: 03 August 2000 received from participants at the Centre for Economic Policy Research conference "Marginal Labour Markets in Metropolitan Areas" held in Dublin between 10-12 October 1999 where an earlier version of this paper was presented. In addition Barry R. Chiswick and three anonymous referees have made valuable suggestions which have greatly improved the final version of this paper. The Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities (deposited by the Policy Studies Institute) and the Quarterly Labour Force Survey of the United Kingdom (Crown Copyright; deposited by the Office for National Statistics) were used with permission. The authors are grateful to the Data Archive at the University of Essex for supplying the data and documentation. Responsible editor: Alan Barrett.-->
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00148/papers/2015001/20150137.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Stewart, Mark B, 1983. "Racial Discrimination and Occupational Attainment in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(371), pages 521-541, September.
    3. Stephen Pudney & Michael Shields, 2000. "Gender, race, pay and promotion in the British nursing profession: estimation of a generalized ordered probit model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 367-399.
    4. Colm Harmon & Ian Walker, 1996. "The Marginal and Average Returns to Schooling"," Working Papers 96/20, University College Dublin, Economics Department.
    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 246-288, April.
    6. Harper, Barry & Haq, Mohammad, 1997. "Occupational Attainment of Men in Britain," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 638-650, October.
    7. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-1286, December.
    8. Galor, Oded & Stark, Oded, 1990. "Migrants' Savings, the Probability of Return Migration and Migrants' Performance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(2), pages 463-467, May.
    9. 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.
    10. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    11. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(2), pages 133-156.
    12. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1999. "The marginal and average returns to schooling in the UK," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 879-887, April.
    13. Michael Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 1998. "The earnings of male immigrants in England: evidence from the quarterly LFS," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(9), pages 1157-1168.
    14. Stephen Nickell, 1982. "The Determinants of Occupational Success in Britain," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 43-53.
    15. Merkle, Lucie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1992. "Savings, remittances, and return migration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 77-81, January.
    16. 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.
    17. Blackaby, David H, et al, 1997. "A Picture of Male and Female Unemployment among Britain's Ethnic Minorities," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(2), pages 182-197, May.
    18. Michael Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 1999. "Ethnic differences in British employer-funded on and off-the-job training," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(7), pages 421-429.
    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. Hatton, Timothy J. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 1998. "Migration, Migrants and Policy in the United Kingdom," CEPR Discussion Papers 1960, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. 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.
    3. Lang Kevin & Siniver Erez, 2009. "The Return to English in a Non-English Speaking Country: Russian Immigrants and Native Israelis in Israel," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-30, November.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0274 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. M. A. Shields & S. Wheatley Price, 2001. "Language fluency and immigrant employment prospects: evidence from Britain's ethnic minorities," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(11), pages 741-745.
    7. Husted, Leif & Nielsen, Helena Skyt & Rosholm, Michael & Smith, Nina, 2000. "Employment and Wage Assimilation of Male First Generation Immigrants in Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 101, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Ziggy Macdonald & Michael A. Shields, 2001. "The Impact of Alcohol Consumption on Occupational Attainment in England," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(271), pages 427-453, August.
    9. 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.
    10. Euwals, Rob & Dagevos, Jaco & Gijsberts, Mérove & Roodenburg, Hans, 2007. "The Labour Market Position of Turkish Immigrants in Germany and the Netherlands: Reason for Migration, Naturalisation and Language Proficiency," IZA Discussion Papers 2683, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Euwals, Rob & Dagevos, Jaco & Gijsberts, Mérove & Roodenburg, Hans, 2007. "Immigration, Integration and the Labour Market: Turkish Immigrants in Germany and the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 2677, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. 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.
    13. Ingo E. Isphording, 2013. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills of Immigrants in Spain," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 27(4), pages 443-461, December.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Yao, Yuxin & van Ours, Jan C., 2015. "Language skills and labor market performance of immigrants in the Netherlands," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 76-85.
    17. Andrew Henley & Rhian Eleri Jones, 2005. "Earnings And Linguistic Proficiency In A Bilingual Economy," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 73(3), pages 300-320, June.
    18. Jacek Liwiński, 2019. "The wage premium from foreign language skills," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 691-711, November.
    19. Oliver Himmler & Robert Jäckle, 2018. "Literacy and the Migrant–Native Wage Gap," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 64(3), pages 592-625, September.
    20. Sílvio Rendon, 2007. "The Catalan premium: language and employment in Catalonia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 669-686, July.
    21. Yao, Yuxin, 2017. "Essays on economics of language and family economics," Other publications TiSEM 0093bc8e-e869-4f87-8ff8-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Language; occupational success; immigrants and ethnic minorities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

    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:spr:jopoec:v:15:y:2002:i:1:p:137-160. 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.springer.com .

    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: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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.