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Bilingual Schooling and Earnings: Evidence from a Language-in-Education Reform

Listed author(s):
  • Lorenzo Cappellari

    ()

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
    Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Antonio Di Paolo

We exploit the 1983 language-in-education reform that introduced Catalan alongside Spanish as medium of instruction in Catalan schools to estimate the labour market value of bilingual education. Identification is achieved in a difference-in-differences framework exploiting variation in exposure to the reform across years of schooling and years of birth. We find positive wage returns to bilingual education and no effects on employment, hours of work or occupation. Results are robust to education-cohort specific trends or selection into schooling and are mainly stemming from exposure at compulsory education. We show that the effect worked through increased Catalan proficiency for Spanish speakers and that there were also positive effects for Catalan speakers from families with low education. These findings are consistent with human capital effects rather than with more efficient job search or reduced discrimination. Exploiting the heterogeneous effects of the reform as an instrument for proficiency we find sizeable earnings effects of skills in Catalan.

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File URL: http://dipartimenti.unicatt.it/economia-finanza-def032.pdf
File Function: First version, 2015
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Paper provided by Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE) in its series DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza with number def032.

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Length: 43
Date of creation: Nov 2015
Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie1:def032
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://dipartimenti.unicatt.it/defin
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  1. Raúl Ramos & Esteban Sanromá & Hipólito Simón, 2014. "Public-Private Sector Wage Differentials by Type of Contract: Evidence from Spain," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 208(1), pages 107-141, March.
  2. Adriana Lleras-Muney & Allison Shertzer, 2015. "Did the Americanization Movement Succeed? An Evaluation of the Effect of English-Only and Compulsory Schooling Laws on Immigrants," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 258-290, August.
  3. Angrist, Joshua & Chin, Aimee & Godoy, Ricardo, 2008. "Is Spanish-only schooling responsible for the Puerto Rican language gap?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 105-128, February.
  4. Angrist, Joshua D & Lavy, Victor, 1997. "The Effect of a Change in Language of Instruction on the Returns to Schooling in Morocco," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 48-76, January.
  5. Chin, Aimee & Daysal, N. Meltem & Imberman, Scott A., 2013. "Impact of bilingual education programs on limited English proficient students and their peers: Regression discontinuity evidence from Texas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 63-78.
  6. Sílvio Rendon, 2007. "The Catalan premium: language and employment in Catalonia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 669-686, July.
  7. Ivlevs, Artjoms & King, Roswitha M., 2014. "2004 Minority Education Reform and pupil performance in Latvia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 151-166.
  8. Dustmann C. & Van Soest A., 2004. "An Analysis of Speaking Fluency of Immigrants Using Ordered Response Models With Classification Errors," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 22, pages 312-321, July.
  9. Oriol Aspachs-Bracons & Irma Clots-Figueras & Joan Costa-Font & Paolo Masella, 2008. "Compulsory Language Educational Policies and Identity Formation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 434-444, 04-05.
  10. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2004. "Language Skills and Earnings: Evidence from Childhood Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 481-496, May.
  11. Ilyana Kuziemko, 2014. "Human Capital Spillovers in Families: Do Parents Learn from or Lean on Their Children?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(4), pages 755-786.
  12. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2008. "What Holds Back the Second Generation?: The Intergenerational Transmission of Language Human Capital Among Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 267-298.
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