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Parents and Children Talk: The Family Dynamics of English Language Proficiency

  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    ()

    (George Washington University)

  • Lee, Yew Liang

    ()

    (University of Western Australia)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

This paper extends the analysis of the acquisition of destination language proficiency among immigrants by explicitly incorporating dynamics among family members – mother, father and children. Single equation, bivariate, and four-state (multivariate) probit analyses are employed. Immigrant English language skills are greater the younger the age at migration, the longer the duration of residence, the higher the level of education, and for immigrants not from Asia. Large positive correlations in the unmeasured determinants of proficiency exist between spouses, between siblings, and between parents and children, although the latter relationship is stronger for the mother.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1216.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Parents and Children Talk: English Language Proficiency within Immigrant Families' in: Review of Economics of the Household, 2005, 3 (3), 243-268
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1216
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  1. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-73, October.
  2. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 133-56.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Barry R. Chiswick, 2000. "A Model of Immigrant Language Acquisition: Application to Male Immigrants in Canada," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 149, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  6. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigration, Language and Multiculturalism in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 32(4), pages 369-385.
  7. Barry Chiswick & Paul Miller, 2001. "A model of destination-language acquisition: Application to male immigrants in Canada," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 391-409, August.
  8. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
  9. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1997. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 705-27, September.
  10. Albert Breton, 1978. "Nationalism and Language Policies," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 11(4), pages 656-68, November.
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