The Returns to English-Language Skills in India
India's colonial legacy and linguistic diversity give English an important role in its economy, and this role has expanded due to globalization in recent decades. It is widely believed that there are sizable economic returns to English-language skills in India, but the extent of these returns is unknown due to lack of a microdata set containing measures of both earnings and English ability. In this paper, we use a newly available data set – the India Human Development Survey, 2005 – to quantify the effects of English-speaking ability on wages. We find that being fluent in English (compared to not speaking any English) increases hourly wages of men by 34%, which is as much as the return to completing secondary school and half as much as the return to completing a Bachelor’s degree. Being able to speak a little English significantly increases male hourly wages 13%. There is considerable heterogeneity in returns to English. More experienced and more educated workers receive higher returns to English. The complementarity between English skills and education appears to have strengthened over time. Only the more educated among young workers earn a premium for English skill, whereas older workers across all education groups do.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published in: Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2013, 61 (2), 335-367|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Angrist, Joshua & Chin, Aimee & Godoy, Ricardo, 2008.
"Is Spanish-only schooling responsible for the Puerto Rican language gap?,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 105-128, February.
- Joshua Angrist & Aimee Chin & Ricardo Godoy, 2006. "Is Spanish-Only Schooling Responsible for the Puerto Rican Language Gap?," NBER Working Papers 12005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kevin Lang & Erez Siniver, 2006.
"The Return to English in a Non-English Speaking Country: Russian Immigrants and Native Israelis in Israel,"
NBER Working Papers
12464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lang Kevin & Siniver Erez, 2009. "The Return to English in a Non-English Speaking Country: Russian Immigrants and Native Israelis in Israel," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-30, November.
- Kevin Lang & Erez Siniver, 2006. "The Return To English In A Non-English Speaking Country: Russian Immigrants And Native Israelis In Israel," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-033, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Kevin Lang & Erez Siniver, 2006. "The Return To English In A Non-English Speaking Country: Russian Immigrants And Native Israelis In Israel," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-159, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2004. "Language Skills and Earnings: Evidence from Childhood Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 481-496, May.
- Albert Saiz & Elena Zoido, 2005. "Listening to What the World Says: Bilingualism and Earnings in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 523-538, August.
- Emily Oster & M. Bryce Millett, 2010. "Do Call Centers Promote School Enrollment? Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 15922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2009. "Why is Mobility in India so Low? Social Insurance, Inequality, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 14850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christian Dustmann & Arthur Van Soest, 2002.
"Language and the Earnings of Immigrants,"
Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(3), pages 473-492, April.
- Robert T. Jensen, 2010. "Economic Opportunities and Gender Differences in Human Capital: Experimental Evidence for India," NBER Working Papers 16021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4802. 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: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.