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Language Skills and Immigrant Adjustment: What Immigration Policy Can Do!

Author

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  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    () (George Washington University)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

Abstract

This study provides an account of the dynamics of the dominant language adjustment process among immigrants in Australia using the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia, which comprises two cohorts of immigrants that arrived in Australia around five years apart. There are two special features of these data that provide the framework for analysis. First, the visa class under which the immigrants entered Australia is known from administrative records. Second, between the two surveys, some visa classes, but not others, were affected by changes in government policy relating to the role of English language skills in immigrant selection. A difference between differences approach is used to isolate the impacts of these policy changes, and thus enable an assessment of what immigrant selection policy can do in this area. It is found that visa category, educational attainment and age at migration impact on immigrant’s language skills. The increased English Proficiency requirement for the Independent and Skilled-Australian Sponsored categories appears to have been successful in raising the English language proficiency of these immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2004. "Language Skills and Immigrant Adjustment: What Immigration Policy Can Do!," IZA Discussion Papers 1419, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1419
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barry R. Chiswick & Yew Liang Lee & Paul W. Miller, 2004. "Parents and Children Talk: The Family Dynamics of English Language Proficiency," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0403, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    2. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "Immigrants' Language Skills and Visa Category," IZA Discussion Papers 471, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Barry Chiswick & Yew Lee & Paul Miller, 2005. "Family matters: the role of the family in immigrants' destination language acquisition," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(4), pages 631-647, November.
    6. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "Immigrants' Language Skills: The Australian Experience in a Longitudinal Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 502, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    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. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2004. "Linguistic Distance: A Quantitative Measure of the Distance Between English and Other Languages," IZA Discussion Papers 1246, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2009. "The Political Economy of Immigration Policy," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-03, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
    2. Massimiliano Tani & Christopher Heaton & Gavin Chan, 2013. "The Wage Premium of Foreign Education: New Evidence from Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 46(4), pages 395-404, December.
    3. Mahuteau, Stephane & Piracha, Matloob & Tani, Massimiliano & Vaira-Lucero, Matias, 2011. "Immigration Policy and Entrepreneurship," IZA Discussion Papers 6238, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "Does immigration policy affect the education--occupation mismatch? Evidence from Australia," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 38(2), pages 111-141.
    5. Barry R. Chiswick & Yew Liang Lee & Paul W. Miller, 2008. "Immigrant Selection Systems And Immigrant Health," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 555-578, October.
    6. Lawrence So & Hude Quan, 2012. "Coming to Canada: the difference in health trajectories between immigrants and native-born residents," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 57(6), pages 893-904, December.
    7. Jatrana, Santosh & Pasupuleti, Samba Siva Rao & Richardson, Ken, 2014. "Nativity, duration of residence and chronic health conditions in Australia: Do trends converge towards the native-born population?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 53-63.
    8. Chiswick, Barry R., 2008. "The Economics of Language: An Introduction and Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 3568, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    visa category; language; immigration policy; immigrants;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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