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Language training, language proficiency and earnings of immigrants in Norway

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  • John Hayfron

Abstract

This paper uses a simple probit model to determine the impact of language training on the language proficiency of Third World immigrant men in Norway. It also estimates the labour market returns to Norwegian language proficiency. The results show that immigrants who participate in language training programme are more likely to acquire speaking and reading proficiencies in Norwegian language than those who do not. Contrary to expectation, language proficiency has no significant effect on immigrants' earnings. A probable explanation may be that immigrants need Norwegian language proficiency to get into jobs in the Norwegian labour market. Once they are in employment, their wages are not necessarily determined by their proficiency in Norwegian. Consistent with the assimilation hypothesis, earlier waves of immigrants have higher earnings than do more recent waves, and part of the initial earnings deficit experienced by more recent immigrants can be attributed to language deficiency. There was no evidence of sample selection bias in the earnings equation.

Suggested Citation

  • John Hayfron, 2001. "Language training, language proficiency and earnings of immigrants in Norway," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(15), pages 1971-1979.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:33:y:2001:i:15:p:1971-1979
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840010018630
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Geoffrey Carliner, 1995. "The Language Ability of U.S. Immigrants: Assimilation and Cohort Effects," NBER Working Papers 5222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

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    3. Höckel, Lisa, 2019. "Speaking the same language - The effect of foreign origin teachers on students’ language skills," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203638, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Lochmann, Alexia & Rapoport, Hillel & Speciale, Biagio, 2019. "The effect of language training on immigrants’ economic integration: Empirical evidence from France," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 265-296.
    5. Ingo E. Isphording, 2015. "What drives the language proficiency of immigrants?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 177-177, August.
    6. 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.
    7. Åslund, Olof & Engdahl, Mattias, 2018. "The value of earning for learning: Performance bonuses in immigrant language training," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 192-204.
    8. Anastasia Sinitsyna & Karin Torpan & Raul Eamets & Tiit Tammaru, 2021. "Overlap Between Industrial Niching and Workplace Segregation: Role of Immigration Policy, Culture and Country of Origin," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 9(2), pages 179-191.
    9. Santiago Budría & Carlos Martinez de Ibarreta & Pablo Swedberg, 2017. "The impact of host language proficiency across the immigrants’ earning distribution in Spain," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 7(1), pages 1-27, December.
    10. Fahey, Éamonn & Russell, Helen & McGinnity, Frances & Grotti, Raffaele, 2019. "Diverse neighbourhoods: an analysis of the residential distribution of immigrants in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT376.
    11. Saarela, Jan & Finnas, Fjalar, 2006. "Can the low unemployment rate of Swedish speakers in Finland be attributed to structural factors?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 498-513, June.
    12. Kathryn H. Anderson & Zhen Huang, 2019. "Can immigrants ever earn as much as native workers?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 159-159, April.
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    14. Zhou, Yonghong & Zhu, Rong & Zheng, Xian, 2020. "Second language skills and labor market outcomes: Evidence from the handover of Hong Kong," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    15. Arendt, Jacob Nielsen, 2020. "Labor Market Effects of a Work-first Policy for Refugees," GLO Discussion Paper Series 662, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    16. Budría, Santiago & Swedberg, Pablo, 2014. "The Impact of Multilingualism on Spanish Language Acquisition among Immigrants in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 8748, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Ott Toomet & Siiri Silm & Erki Saluveer & Rein Ahas & Tiit Tammaru, 2015. "Where Do Ethno-Linguistic Groups Meet? How Copresence during Free-Time Is Related to Copresence at Home and at Work," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(5), pages 1-16, May.
    18. Lang, Julia, 2018. "Employment effects of language training for unemployed immigrants," IAB Discussion Paper 201821, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    19. Gao, Wenshu & Smyth, Russell, 2011. "Economic returns to speaking 'standard Mandarin' among migrants in China's urban labour market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 342-352, April.
    20. Magnus Strömgren & Tiit Tammaru & Alexander Danzer & Maarten Ham & Szymon Marcińczak & Olof Stjernström & Urban Lindgren, 2014. "Factors Shaping Workplace Segregation Between Natives and Immigrants," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(2), pages 645-671, April.
    21. Ulf Rinne, 2013. "The evaluation of immigration policies," Chapters, in: Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 28, pages 530-552, Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    23. Jutta Hoehne & Ines Michalowski, 2016. "Long-Term Effects of Language Course Timing on Language Acquisition and Social Contacts: Turkish and Moroccan Immigrants in Western Europe," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 133-162, March.

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