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Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants

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  • Chiswick, Barry R

Abstract

This article is concerned with the determinants of English-language fluency among immigrants and the effects of fluency on earnings. Using special survey data on a sample of over eight hundred aliens, the analysis shows the importance of certain variables not previously available, speaking fluency at migration and English reading fluency. English speaking and reading fluency both increase with duration in the United States, and the increase with duration is greater for those with more schooling and who are not Hispanic. The article shows that reading fluency is more important than speaking fluency as a determinant of earnings. Copyright 1991 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-170, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:9:y:1991:i:2:p:149-70
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1987. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Long-term Employment Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 50-68, March.
    2. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1984. "Macroeconomic analyses and microeconomic analyses of labor supply," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 117-156.
    3. Lillard, Lee & Smith, James P & Welch, Finis, 1986. "What Do We Really Know about Wages? The Importance of Nonreporting and Census Imputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 489-506, June.
    4. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
    5. Orley Ashenfelter, 1984. "Macroeconomic Analyses and Microeconomic Analyses of Labor Supply," Working Papers 553, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Orley Ashenfelter & Gary Solon, 1982. "Longitudinal Labor Market Data: Sources, Uses, and Limitations," Working Papers 535, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    7. Duncan, Greg J & Hill, Daniel H, 1985. "An Investigation of the Extent and Consequences of Measurement Error in Labor-Economic Survey Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 508-532, October.
    8. Griliches, Zvi, 1974. "Errors in Variables and Other Unobservables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(6), pages 971-998, November.
    9. repec:pri:indrel:dsp014m90dv50s is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:fth:prinin:155 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Mellow, Wesley & Sider, Hal, 1983. "Accuracy of Response in Labor Market Surveys: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 331-344, October.
    12. Altonji, Joseph G, 1986. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 176-215, June.
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