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Computer Skills, Destination Language Proficiency and the Earnings of Natives and Immigrants

  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    ()

    (George Washington University)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

Using data from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing in Australia, this paper investigates the determinants, and consequences for earnings, of computer use by both the native born and the foreign born. Focussing on the foreign born, the multivariate analyses show that recent arrivals are more likely to use computers than the Australian born. As the level of computer use in Australia is much higher than in most of the countries that Australia's immigrants come from, this evidence suggests a high degree of favorable selection in migration. Study of the links between earnings, computer use and other human capital skills shows that educational attainment and destination language skills are complements to computer use. The use of a computer is shown to be a way the foreign born can increase the international transferability of their pre-immigration skills, a finding that has implications for immigrant settlement policies.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1755.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics of the Household, 2007, 5 (2), 129-157
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1755
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  1. Richard Fry & B. Lindsay Lowell, 2003. "The value of bilingualism in the U.S. labor market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(1), pages 128-141, October.
  2. Christian Dustmann & Arthur van Soest, 2001. "Language Fluency And Earnings: Estimation With Misclassified Language Indicators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 663-674, November.
  3. G. R. Arabsheibani & J. M. Emami & A. Marin, 2004. "The Impact of Computer Use On Earnings in the UK," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(1), pages 82-94, 02.
  4. Ernest P. Goss & Joseph M. Phillips, 2002. "How Information Technology Affects Wages: Evidence Using Internet Usage As a Proxy for IT Skills," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 23(3), pages 463-474, July.
  5. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-75, June.
  6. DiNardo, John E & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1997. "The Returns to Computer Use Revisited: Have Pencils Changed the Wage Structure Too?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 291-303, February.
  7. Paul W. Miller & Leanne M. Neo, 2003. "Labour Market Flexibility and Immigrant Adjustment," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(246), pages 336-356, 09.
  8. Miller, Paul & Mulvey, Charles, 1997. "Computer Skills and Wages," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(68), pages 106-13, June.
  9. Peter Dolton & Gerry Makepeace, 2004. "Computer Use and Earnings in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages C117-C129, 03.
  10. Borghans Lex & Weel Bas ter, 2003. "Are computer skills the new basic skills? The returns to computer, writing and math skills in Britain," Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  11. 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.
  12. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
  13. 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).
  14. Richard Fry & B. Lindsay Lowell, 2003. "The Value of Bilingualism in the U.S. Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(1), pages 128-140, October.
  15. Liu, Jin-Tan & Tsou, Meng-Wen & Hammitt, James K., 2004. "Computer use and wages: evidence from Taiwan," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 43-51, January.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Chiswick, Barry R, 1977. "Sons of Immigrants: Are They at an Earnings Disadvantage?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 376-80, February.
  19. Derby Voon & Paul W. Miller, 2005. "Undereducation and Overeducation in the Australian Labour Market," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(s1), pages S22-S33, 08.
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