IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/2487.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK

Author

Listed:
  • Dustmann, Christian
  • Fabbri, Francesca

Abstract

This paper uses two recent UK surveys to investigate labour market performance, the determinants of language proficiency, and the effect of language on earnings and employment probabilities of non-white immigrants. Our results show that language acquisition, employment probabilities, as well as earnings differ widely across non-white immigrants, according to their ethnic origin. Language has a strong and positive effect on employment probabilities. Furthermore, lack of English fluency leads to substantial earnings losses for immigrants. While earnings of white and ethnic minority natives develop in a similar manner, there is a large earnings gap between these two groups, and ethnic minority immigrants. English fluency contributes considerably to reducing these differences. Addressing the problems of measurement error and unobserved heterogeneity in language variables, our results indicate that measurement error in the language variable leads to underestimation of the importance of language for employment probabilities and earnings in straightforward regressions. In comparison with results found for other countries, language proficiency seems to be more important for labour market outcomes of UK immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000. "Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 2487, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2487
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=2487
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lorraine Dearden, 1999. "Qualifications and earnings in Britain: how reliable are conventional OLS estimates of the returns to education?," IFS Working Papers W99/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Mark B. Stewart, 1983. "On Least Squares Estimation when the Dependent Variable is Grouped," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 737-753.
    3. 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.
    4. Eckstein, Z. & Weiss, Y., 1999. "The Integration of Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in the Israeli Labor Market," Papers 33-99, Tel Aviv.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Nickell, Stephen J, 1980. "A Picture of Male Unemployment in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 776-794, December.
    9. 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.
    10. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    11. Chiswick, Barry R, 1980. "The Earnings of White and Coloured Male Immigrants in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(185), pages 81-87, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    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. Stephen Wheatley Price, 2001. "The unemployment experience of male immigrants in England," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 201-215.
    3. Antonio Di Paolo & Aysit Tansel, 2015. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(4), pages 407-421, April.
    4. 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.
    5. Antonio Di Paolo & Aysit Tansel, 2015. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(4), pages 407-421, April.
    6. 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.
    7. Stephen Wheatley Price, 2001. "The employment adjustment of male immigrants in England," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(1), pages 193-220.
    8. Glover, Stephen & Gott, Ceri & Loizillon, Anaïs & Portes, Jonathan & Price, Richard & Spencer, Sarah & Srinivasan, Vasanthi & Willis, Carole, 2001. "Migration: an economic and social analysis," MPRA Paper 75900, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Husted, Leif & Skyt Nielsen, Helena & Rosholm, Michael & Smith, Nina, 2000. "Employment and Wage Assimilation of Male First Generation Immigrants in Denmark," CLS Working Papers 00-1, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research.
    10. Andrew Henley & Rhian Eleri Jones, 2005. "Earnings And Linguistic Proficiency In A Bilingual Economy," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 73(3), pages 300-320, June.
    11. Aldashev, Alisher & Gernandt, Johannes & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2009. "Language usage, participation, employment and earnings: Evidence for foreigners in West Germany with multiple sources of selection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 330-341, June.
    12. Uebelmesser Silke, 2006. "To Go or Not to Go: Emigration from Germany," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 211-231, May.
    13. H. Battu & P. J. Sloane, 2004. "Over‐Education and Ethnic Minorities in Britain," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 72(4), pages 535-559, July.
    14. 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.
    15. 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).
    16. 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.
    17. Aoki, Yu & Santiago, Lualhati, 2018. "Deprivation, Segregation, and Socioeconomic Class of UK Immigrants: Does English Proficiency Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 11368, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Jacek Liwiński, 2019. "The wage premium from foreign language skills," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 691-711, November.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economics of Minorities; Human Capital Formation; immigrant workers;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2487. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.