IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp2575.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Critical Period Hypothesis for Language Learning: What the 2000 US Census Says

Author

Listed:
  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    (George Washington University)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

Abstract

A critical period for language learning is often defined as a sharp decline in learning outcomes with age. This study examines the relevance of the critical period to English proficiency among immigrants in the US. It uses microdata from the 2000 US Census, a model of language acquisition from the economics and sociology literatures, and a flexible specification of an estimating equation based on 64 age-at-migration dichotomous variables. It shows that self-reported English language speaking proficiency among immigrants declines more-or-less monotonically with age at migration, and this relationship is not characterized by any sharp decline or discontinuity that might be considered consistent with a “critical” period. The findings are robust across the various immigrant samples, and between the genders.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2007. "The Critical Period Hypothesis for Language Learning: What the 2000 US Census Says," IZA Discussion Papers 2575, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2575
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ftp.iza.org/dp2575.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Victor Ginsburgh & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2005. "Disenfranchisement In Linguistically Diverse Societies: The Case Of The European Union," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 946-965, June.
    3. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 2007. "Modeling Immigrants’ Language Skills," Research in Labor Economics, in: Barry R. Chiswick (ed.), Immigration, volume 27, pages 75-128, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    4. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2003. "The complementarity of language and other human capital: immigrant earnings in Canada," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 469-480, October.
    5. Kalena E. Cortes, 2004. "Are Refugees Different from Economic Immigrants? Some Empirical Evidence on the Heterogeneity of Immigrant Groups in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 465-480, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Barry Chiswick & Yew Lee & Paul Miller, 2005. "“Parents and Children Talk: English Language Proficiency within Immigrant Families”," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 243-268, September.
    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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Cortes, Kalena E., 2004. "Are Refugees Different from Economic Immigrants? Some Empirical Evidence on the Heterogeneity of Immigrant Groups in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1063, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    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.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Chiswick, Barry R., 2008. "The Economics of Language: An Introduction and Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 3568, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht, 2011. "Migration and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 327-439, Elsevier.
    3. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 2007. "Modeling Immigrants’ Language Skills," Research in Labor Economics, in: Barry R. Chiswick (ed.), Immigration, volume 27, pages 75-128, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    4. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2014. "International Migration and the Economics of Language," IZA Discussion Papers 7880, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. 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.
    6. Ilana Redstone Akresh, 2008. "Occupational Trajectories of Legal US Immigrants: Downgrading and Recovery," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(3), pages 435-456, September.
    7. Dagnelie, Olivier & Mayda, Anna Maria & Maystadt, Jean-François, 2019. "The labor market integration of refugees in the United States: Do entrepreneurs in the network help?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 257-272.
    8. Martin Lange & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2019. "The human capital selection of young males seeking asylum in Germany," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 53(1), pages 1-14, December.
    9. 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).
    10. Damelang, Andreas & Kosyakova, Yuliya, 2020. "To work or to study? Postmigration educational investments of adult refugees in Germany - evidence from a choice experiment," IAB Discussion Paper 202031, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    11. Donald R. Williams, 2011. "Multiple language usage and earnings in Western Europe," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 372-393, July.
    12. Barry Chiswick & Paul Miller, 2007. "Computer usage, destination language proficiency and the earnings of natives and immigrants," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 129-157, June.
    13. Chunbei Wang & Le Wang, 2011. "Language Skills and the Earnings Distribution Among Child Immigrants," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 297-322, April.
    14. Alícia Adserà & Mariola Pytliková, 2015. "The Role of Language in Shaping International Migration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(586), pages 49-81, August.
    15. Harrison Ng Chok & Judy Mannix & Cathy Dickson & Lesley Wilkes, 2018. "Experiences of registered nurses from a refugee background: A scoping review," Journal of Clinical Nursing, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(7-8), pages 1275-1283, April.
    16. Jain, Apoorva & Peter, Klara Sabirianova, 2017. "Limits to Wage Growth: Understanding the Wage Divergence between Immigrants and Natives," IZA Discussion Papers 10891, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Aldashev, Alisher & Gernandt, Johannes & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2009. "Language usage, participation, employment and earnings: Evidence for foreigners in West Germany with multiple sources of selection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 330-341, June.
    18. Christian Dustmann & Joseph-Simon Görlach, 2016. "The Economics of Temporary Migrations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 98-136, March.
    19. Lergetporer, Philipp & Piopiunik, Marc & Simon, Lisa, 2021. "Does the education level of refugees affect natives’ attitudes?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    20. Bedaso, Fenet, 2021. "The Labor Market Integration of Refugees and other Migrants in Germany," GLO Discussion Paper Series 884, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrants; critical period hypothesis; second language learning;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2575. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.