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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.-->
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    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. Dustmann, Christian, 1999. " Temporary Migration, Human Capital, and Language Fluency of Migrants," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(2), pages 297-314, June.
    3. Stewart, Mark B, 1983. "Racial Discrimination and Occupational Attainment in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(371), pages 521-541, September.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Harmon, Harmon & Ian Walker, 1996. "The marginal and average returns to schooling," IFS Working Papers W96/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Language; occupational success; immigrants and ethnic minorities;

    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

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