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Immigrant Earnings: Language Skills, Linguistic Concentrations and the Business Cycle

  • Barry R. Chiswick
  • Paul W. Miller

This study of the determinants of earnings among adult foreign-born men using the 1990 Census of Population focuses on the effects of the respondent's own English language skills, the effects of living in a linguistic concentration area, and the effects of the stage of the business cycle at entry into the U.S. labor market. The analysis demonstrates the importance of English language fluency among the foreign born from non-English speaking countries. There is also strong evidence for the complementarity between language skills and other forms of human capital. Furthermore, there is strong evidence using selectivity correction techniques for the endogeneity between language and earnings.

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Paper provided by Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State in its series University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State with number 152.

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Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:chices:152
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  1. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1991. "Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 282-307.
  2. Barry R. Chiswick & Yinon Cohen & Tzippi Zach, 1997. "The labor market status of immigrants: Effects of the unemployment rate at arrival and duration of residence," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(2), pages 289-303, January.
  3. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1985. "Immigrant Generation and Income in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 61(173), pages 540-53, June.
  4. Evelina Tainer, 1988. "English Language Proficiency and the Determination of Earnings among Foreign-Born Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(1), pages 108-122.
  5. Repetto, Gaston & Chiswick, Barry R., 2000. "Immigrant Adjustment in Israel: Literacy and Fluency in Hebrew and Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 177, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Barry R. Chiswick, 1998. "Hebrew language usage: Determinants and effects on earnings among immigrants in Israel," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 253-271.
  7. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  8. Ann P. Bartel & Marianne J. Koch, 1991. "Internal Migration of U.S. Immigrants," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 121-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  10. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  11. 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 246-88, April.
  12. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  13. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
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