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Occupational Selection in Multilingual Labor Markets

Author

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  • Quella, Núria

    (Stony Brook University)

  • Rendon, Silvio

    (Inter-American Development Bank)

Abstract

In multilingual labor markets agents with high proficiency in more than one language may be selected into occupations that require high levels of skill in communicating with customers or writing reports in more than one language. In this paper we measure this effect in Catalonia, where two languages, Catalan and Spanish, coexist. Using census data for 1991 and 1996, and controlling for endogeneity of Catalan knowledge, we find that proficiency in speaking, reading and writing Catalan reinforces selection into communication intensive jobs/positions such as entrepreneurial, trade, and service activities; white-collar occupations; and permanent employment. Interestingly, the effect of language on occupational selection is stronger for women than for men.

Suggested Citation

  • Quella, Núria & Rendon, Silvio, 2008. "Occupational Selection in Multilingual Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 3446, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3446
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
    2. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 2002. "Immigrant earnings: Language skills, linguistic concentrations and the business cycle," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(1), pages 31-57.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antonio Di Paolo & Josep Lluís Raymond, 2012. "Language knowledge and earnings in Catalonia," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 15, pages 89-118, May.
    2. Antonio di Paolo, 2011. "Knowledge of catalan, public/prívate sector choice and earnings: Evidence from a double sample selection model," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 197(2), pages 9-35, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    language; occupational selection; labor markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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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