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International Migration and the Economics of Language

Author

Listed:
  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    () (George Washington University)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

Abstract

This paper provides a review of the research on the ‘economics of language' as applied to international migration. Its primary focuses are on: (1) the effect of the language skills of an individual on the choice of destination among international (and internal) migrants, both in terms of the ease of obtaining proficiency in the destination language and access to linguistic enclaves, (2) the determinants of destination language proficiency among international migrants, based on a model (the three E's) of Exposure to the destination language in the origin and destination, Efficiency in the acquisition of destination language skills, and Economic incentives for acquiring this proficiency, (3) the consequences for immigrants of acquiring destination language proficiency, with an emphasis on labor market outcomes, and in particular earnings. Factors that are considered include age, education, gender, family structure, costs of migration, linguistic distance, duration in the destination, return migration, and ethnic enclaves, among others. Analyses are reported for the immigrant experiences in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Germany, Israel and Spain.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2014. "International Migration and the Economics of Language," IZA Discussion Papers 7880, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7880
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christian Dustmann & Arthur van Soest, 2001. "Language Fluency And Earnings: Estimation With Misclassified Language Indicators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 663-674, November.
    2. Michèle V. K. Belot & Timothy J. Hatton, 2012. "Immigrant Selection in the OECD," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1105-1128, December.
    3. Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2002. "The English language fluency and occupational success of ethnic minority immigrant men living in English metropolitan areas," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(1), pages 137-160.
    4. 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.
    5. Agnieszka Kanas & Barry R. Chiswick & Tanja Lippe & Frank Tubergen, 2012. "Social Contacts and the Economic Performance of Immigrants: A Panel Study of Immigrants in G ermany," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 680-709, September.
    6. Charette, Michael & Meng, Ronald, 1994. "Explaining language proficiency : Objective versus self-assessed measures of literacy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 313-321.
    7. Miranda, Alfonso & Zhu, Yu, 2013. "English deficiency and the native–immigrant wage gap," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 38-41.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Alicia Adsera & Mariola Pytlikova, 2012. "The role of language in shaping international migration," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012014, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
    11. Serge Nadeau & Aylin Seckin, 2010. "The Immigrant Wage Gap in Canada: Quebec and the Rest of Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 36(3), pages 265-285, September.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 95-126, December.
    15. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2008. "Selection and network effects--Migration flows into OECD countries 1990-2000," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1160-1186, October.
    16. Barry Chiswick & Paul Miller, 2001. "A model of destination-language acquisition: Application to male immigrants in Canada," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(3), pages 391-409, August.
    17. 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, July.
    18. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-170, April.
    19. Louis N. Christofides & Robert Swidinsky, 2010. "The Economic Returns to the Knowledge and Use of a Second Official Language: English in Quebec and French in the Rest-of-Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 36(2), pages 137-158, June.
    20. Dustmann, Christian, 1999. " Temporary Migration, Human Capital, and Language Fluency of Migrants," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(2), pages 297-314, June.
    21. 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.
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    25. Isphording, Ingo E. & Otten, Sebastian, 2014. "Linguistic barriers in the destination language acquisition of immigrants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 30-50.
    26. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
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    29. Kossoudji, Sherrie A, 1988. "English Language Ability and the Labor Market Opportunities of Hispanic and East Asian Immigrant Men," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 205-228, April.
    30. Barry R. Chiswick & Yew Liang Lee & Paul W. Miller, 2005. "Immigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(4), pages 485-503, December.
    31. 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.
    32. Casey Warman, 2007. "Ethnic enclaves and immigrant earnings growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 401-422, May.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fasani, Francesco & Frattini, Tommaso & Minale, Luigi, 2018. "(The Struggle for) Refugee Integration into the Labour Market: Evidence from Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 11333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Zorlu, Aslan & Hartog, Joop, 2018. "The Impact of Language on Socioeconomic Integration of Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 11485, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Yuxin Yao & Jan C. van Ours, 2015. "Language Skills and Labor Market Performance of Immigrants in the Netherlands," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1505, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    4. repec:spr:izamig:v:8:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1186_s40176-017-0108-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Aoki, Yu & Santiago, Lualhati, 2015. "Education, Health and Fertility of UK Immigrants: The Role of English Language Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 9498, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Yao, Yuxin & Ohinata, Asako & van Ours, Jan C., 2016. "The educational consequences of language proficiency for young children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 1-15.
    7. Wang, Haining & Cheng, Zhiming & Smyth, Russell, 2016. "Language and consumption," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 135-151.
    8. Yao, Yuxin & van Ours, Jan C., 2015. "Language skills and labor market performance of immigrants in the Netherlands," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 76-85.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; bilingualism; language; immigrants; earnings;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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