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The catalan premium: language and employment in Catalonia

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  • Rendón, Silvio

Abstract

This paper measures the contribution of knowing Catalan to finding a job in Catalonia. In the early eighties a drastic language policy change (normalització) promoted the learning and use of Catalan and managed to reverse the falling trend of its relative use versus Castilian (Spanish), thereby recovering its economic value. Using census data for 1991 and 1996, I estimate a significant positive Catalan premium: the probability of being employed increases between 3 and 5 percentage points if individuals know how to read and speak Catalan; it increases between 1 and 4 percentage points for writing Catalan. This premium is substantially higher for women than for men, and decreasing in schooling and in age.

Suggested Citation

  • Rendón, Silvio, 2003. "The catalan premium: language and employment in Catalonia," UC3M Working papers. Economics we033410, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we033410
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Lorenzo Cappellari & Antonio di-Paolo, 2015. "“Bilingual Schooling and Earnings: Evidence from a Language-in-Education reform”," IREA Working Papers 201523, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Oct 2015.
    3. Afful, Efua Amoonua, 2013. "Heterogeneity in the Importance of English-Speaking Ability in Determination of Employment Status by Demographic Subgroups in the United States," MPRA Paper 58767, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Javier Ortega & Gregory Verdugo, 2015. "Assimilation in multilingual cities," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 785-815, July.
    5. Antonio Di Paolo & Josep Lluís Raymond, 2012. "Language knowledge and earnings in Catalonia," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 15, pages 89-118, May.
    6. Antonio di Paolo, 2011. "Knowledge of catalan, public/prívate sector choice and earnings: Evidence from a double sample selection model," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, pages 9-35.
    7. Ramon Caminal, 2013. "The economic value of reciprocal bilingualism," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 933.13, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    8. 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.
    9. Armstrong, Alex, 2015. "Equilibria and efficiency in bilingual labour markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 204-220.
    10. Schild, Christopher-Johannes & Wrede, Matthias, 2015. "Cultural identity, mobility and decentralization," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 323-333.
    11. Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo & José-Ignacio Antón, 2011. "From Rags to Riches? Immigration and Poverty in Spain," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 30(5), pages 661-676, October.
    12. Casale, Daniela & Posel, Dorrit, 2011. "English language proficiency and earnings in a developing country: The case of South Africa," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 385-393, August.
    13. Bengt-Arne Wickström, 2014. "Indigenes, immigration, and integration: a welfare-economics approach to minority rights," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Alternative Theories of Public Economics, chapter 10, pages 227-242 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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