The Economic Returns to a Second Official Language: English in Quebec and French in the Rest-of-Canada
Canada is a country with two official languages, French and English. The need for both languages in Quebec and the Rest-of-Canada (ROC) generates a demand for bilingualism and investment in the acquisition of a second official language. Knowledge of an additional language may be associated with enhanced earnings because it may reflect what might generically be called ‘ability’ bias or because it may actually be useful at the workplace. Until now, available data did not indicate whether bilingualism was actually being used at work. However, the 2001 Census reports, for the first time, whether an individual is bilingual and the extent to which this skill is actually used at work. Conditioning on both knowledge and use allows us to measure the additional earnings which accrue to the use of a second language more cleanly. We find very substantial, statistically significant, rewards to second official language use in Quebec and much smaller, not statistically significant, effects in the ROC.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2008|
|Publication status:||published as "The Economic Returns to the Knowledge and Use of a Second Official Language: English in Quebec and French in the Rest-of-Canada" in: Canadian Public Policy, 2010, 36(2), 137-158|
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- Gilles Grenier, 1987. "Earnings by Language Group in Quebec in 1980 and Emigration from Quebec between 1976 and 1981," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(4), pages 774-791, November.
- Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995.
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The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-266, May.
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- David Albouy, 2008. "The Wage Gap between Francophones and Anglophones: A Canadian Perspective, 1970 to 2000," NBER Working Papers 14203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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