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Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants


  • Dustmann, Christian


This paper analyzes the determinants of language abilities of migrant workers and the impact of language proficiency on their earnings position. The analysis is based on data for West Germany. The first part presents an ordered probit analysis of the determinants of German speaking and writing fluency for both male and female migrants. The data allow not only to consider personal characteristics of the migrant as explanatory variables, but to analyze additionally the effect of the family context and of illiteracy on the migrant's German language fluency. In the second part, the effect of language on the migrant's earnings position is analyzed. It is shown that language abilities, and especially writing proficiency, considerably improve the earnings position of migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:7:y:1994:i:2:p:133-56

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Del Boca, Daniela & Flinn, Christopher J, 1995. "Rationalizing Child-Support Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1241-1262, December.
    2. Laurie J. Bassi & Robert I. Lerman, 1996. "Reducing the child support welfare disincentive problem," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 89-96.
    3. Jennifer Roff, 2008. "A Stackelberg Model Of Child Support And Welfare," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(2), pages 515-546, May.
    4. Rocio Ribero & Daniela Del Boca, 2001. "The Effect of Child-Support Policies on Visitations and Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 130-134, May.
    5. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1993. "Transfers among Divorced Couples: Evidence and Interpretation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 629-679, October.
    6. Chien-Chung Huang & James Kunz & Irwin Garfinkel, 2002. "The effect of child support on welfare exits and re-entries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 557-576.
    7. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1985. "Children as Collective Goods and Divorce Settlements," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 268-292, July.
    8. Chien-Chung Huang & Irwin Garfinkel & Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "Child Support Enforcement and Welfare Caseloads," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration


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