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The effect of language training on immigrants’ economic integration: Empirical evidence from France

Author

Listed:
  • Alexia Lochmann

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Hillel Rapoport

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique)

  • Biagio Speciale

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

We examine the impact of language training on the economic integration of immigrants in France. The assignment to this training, offered by the French Ministry of the Interior, depends mainly on a precise rule: the training is provided if the test score of an initial language exam is below a certain threshold. This eligibility rule creates a discontinuity in the relation between the test result and the variables of interest, which is used to estimate the causal effect of language training, through the method of Regression Discontinuity Design. We find that the number of assigned hours of training significantly increases labor force participation of the treated individuals. The language classes appear to have a larger effect for individuals with higher levels of education, while there is no robust differential effect by type of migration, gender or age. Our estimated coefficients are remarkably similar when we rely on local linear regressions using the optimal bandwidth with few observations around the threshold and when we control parametrically for a polynomial of the forcing variable and use the whole estimation sample. We conclude with a discussion of the candidate mechanisms for the improved labor market participation of immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexia Lochmann & Hillel Rapoport & Biagio Speciale, 2019. "The effect of language training on immigrants’ economic integration: Empirical evidence from France," Post-Print halshs-02096347, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-02096347
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2019.01.008
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02096347
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    2. Giesecke, Matthias & Schuß, Eric, 2019. "Heterogeneity in marginal returns to language training of immigrants," IAB-Discussion Paper 201919, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    3. Matti Sarvimäki, 2021. "Managing Refugee Protection Crises: Policy Lessons from Economics and Political Science," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 2131, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    4. Furtado, Delia & Kong, Haiyang, 2021. "How Do Low-Skilled Immigrants Adjust to Chinese Import Shocks? Evidence Using English Language Proficiency," IZA Discussion Papers 14152, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr & Arthur Sweetman, 2020. "An introduction to the economics of immigration in OECD countries," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1365-1403, November.
    6. Lars Ludolph, 2021. "The Value of Formal Host-Country Education for the Labour Market Position of Refugees: Evidence from Austria," CESifo Working Paper Series 9241, CESifo.
    7. Fasani, Francesco & Frattini, Tommaso & Minale, Luigi, 2020. "Lift the Ban? Initial Employment Restrictions and Refugee Labour Market Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 14765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Battisti, Michele & Giesing, Yvonne & Laurentsyeva, Nadzeya, 2019. "Can job search assistance improve the labour market integration of refugees? Evidence from a field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    9. Peri, Giovanni & Rutledge, Zachariah, 2020. "Revisiting Economic Assimilation of Mexican and Central Americans Immigrants in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 12976, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Hangartner, Dominik & Sarvimäki, Matti & Spirig, Judith, 2021. "Managing Refugee Protection Crises: Policy Lessons from Economics and Political Science," IZA Discussion Papers 14821, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Dahlberg, Matz & Egebark, Johan & Vikman, Ulrika & Özcan, Gülay, 2020. "Labor market integration of low-educated refugees," Working Paper Series 2020:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    12. Jacob Nielsen Arendt, 2022. "Labor market effects of a work-first policy for refugees," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 35(1), pages 169-196, January.
    13. Schuss Eric, 2018. "The Impact of Language Skills on Immigrants’ Labor Market Integration: A Brief Revision With a New Approach," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(4), pages 1-19, October.
    14. Pia Schilling & Steven Stillman, 2021. "The Impact of Natives' Attitudes Towards Immigrants on Their Integration in the Host Country," CESifo Working Paper Series 9308, CESifo.
    15. Lang, Julia, 2018. "Employment effects of language training for unemployed immigrants," IAB-Discussion Paper 201821, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    16. Lisa Bagnoli & Antonio Estache, 2019. "Mentoring labor market integration of migrants: Policy insights from a survey of mentoring theory and practice," Working Papers ECARES 2019-15, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    17. Dahlberg, Matz & Egebark, Johan & Vikman, Ullrika & Özcan, Gülay, 2020. "Labor Market Integration of Low-Educated Refugees: RCT Evidence from an Ambitious Integration Program in Sweden," Working Paper Series 1372, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    18. Yajna Govind, 2021. "Is naturalization a passport for better labor market integration? Evidence from a quasi-experimental setting," PSE Working Papers halshs-03265055, HAL.
    19. Jacob Nielsen Arendt & Iben Bolvig & Mette Foged & Linea Hasager & Giovanni Peri, 2020. "Language Training and Refugees' Integration," NBER Working Papers 26834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Morgan Raux, 2021. "Cultural differences and immigrants' wages," DEM Discussion Paper Series 21-02, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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