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

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  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    (George Washington University)

  • Lee, Yew Liang

    (University of Western Australia)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2004. "Parents and Children Talk: The Family Dynamics of English Language Proficiency," IZA Discussion Papers 1216, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1216
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 246-288, April.
    2. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-773, October.
    3. 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, December.
    4. Barry R. Chiswick, 1998. "Hebrew language usage: Determinants and effects on earnings among immigrants in Israel," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(2), pages 253-271.
    5. Barry Chiswick & Paul Miller, 2001. "A model of destination-language acquisition: Application to male immigrants in Canada," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(3), pages 391-409, August.
    6. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(2), pages 133-156.
    7. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
    8. 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 705-727, September.
    9. 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.
    10. Oded Stark, 1991. "The Migration of Labor," Blackwell Books, Wiley Blackwell, number 1557860300, October.
    11. Albert Breton, 1978. "Nationalism and Language Policies," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 11(4), pages 656-668, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. LUIS LOCAY & TRACY L. REGAN & ARTHUR M. DIAMOND Jr, 2013. "The Effects Of Spanish-Language Background On Completed Schooling And Aptitude Test Scores," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 527-562, January.
    2. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2004. "Language Skills and Immigrant Adjustment: What Immigration Policy Can Do!," IZA Discussion Papers 1419, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    family; multinominal probit; immigrants; language;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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