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English Deficiency and the Native-Immigrant Wage Gap

  • Miranda, Alfonso

    ()

    (CIDE, Mexico City)

  • Zhu, Yu

    ()

    (University of Dundee)

We focus on the effect of English deficiency on the native-immigrant wage gap for male employees in the UK using the first wave of the UK Household Longitudinal Survey. We show that the wage gap is robust to controls for age, region of residence, educational attainment and ethnicity. However, English as Additional Language (EAL) is capable of explaining virtually all the remaining wage gap between natives and immigrants. Using the interaction of language of country of birth and age-at-arrival as instrument, we find strong evidence of a causal effect of EAL on the native-immigrant wage gap.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7019.

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Length: 10 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7019
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  1. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2003. "Language proficiency and labour market performance of immigrants in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 695-717, 07.
  2. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2010. "Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation among US Immigrants," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 165-92, January.
  3. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 133-56.
  4. van Ours, Jan C. & Veenman, Justus, 2006. "Age at immigration and educational attainment of young immigrants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 310-316, March.
  5. 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.
  6. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-70, April.
  7. Blackaby, D.H. & Leslie, D.G. & Murphy, P.D. & O'Leary, N.C., 2005. "Born in Britain: How are native ethnic minorities faring in the British labour market?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 370-375, September.
  8. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Language skills and earnings among legalized aliens," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 63-89.
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