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Language fluency and immigrant employment prospects: evidence from Britain's ethnic minorities

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  • M. A. Shields
  • S. Wheatley Price

Abstract

Using data from the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities, the determinants of location-specific language capital and its impact upon the employment prospects of male and female ethnic minority immigrants in Britain are investigated. It is found that lack of English language fluency reduces average predicted employment probabilities by 20-25 percentage points. Increasing the provision of English language training directly or indirectly, by requiring immigrants to obtain UK qualifications, would go a long way to eliminating the 10% employment gap between Britain's white and ethnic minority communities.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:8:y:2001:i:11:p:741-745
    DOI: 10.1080/13504850010038678
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. 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.
    3. Blackaby, D. H. & Clark, K. & Leslie, D. G. & Murphy, P. D., 1994. "Black-white male earnings and employment prospects in the 1970s and 1980s evidence for Britain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 273-279, November.
    4. Shields, Michael A & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 1999. "Ethnic Differences in the Incidence and Determinants of Employer-Funded Training in Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 46(5), pages 523-551, November.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Blackaby, D. H. & Leslie, D. G. & Murphy, P. D. & O'Leary, N. C., 1998. "The ethnic wage gap and employment differentials in the 1990s: Evidence for Britain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 97-103, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2003. "Immigrant Job Search In The Uk:Evidence From Panel Data," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2003-2, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    2. José Antonio Alonso & Rodolfo Gutiérrez, 2010. "Lengua y emigración: España y el español en las migraciones internacionales," Documentos de Trabajo del Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales 14-10, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales.
    3. Heaven Crawley, 2009. "The Situation of Children in Immigrant Families in the United Kingdom," Papers inwopa579, Innocenti Working Papers.
    4. Burton, Jonathan & Nandi, Alita & Platt, Lucinda, 2008. "Who are the UK's minority ethnic groups? Issues of identification and measurement in a longitudinal study," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-26, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    5. Bonin, Holger & Rinne, Ulf, 2017. "Machbarkeitsstudie zur Durchführung einer Evaluation der arbeitsmarktpolitischen Integrationsmaßnahmen für Flüchtlinge," IZA Research Reports 76, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Cortes, Kalena E., 2004. "Are Refugees Different from Economic Immigrants? Some Empirical Evidence on the Heterogeneity of Immigrant Groups in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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