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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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7880
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Antonio Paolo & Aysit Tansel, 2019. "English skills, labour market status and earnings of Turkish women," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 669-690, November.
    2. Nocito, Samuel, 2021. "The effect of a university degree in english on international labor mobility," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    3. Peter Huber & Gerhard Streicher & Georg Böhs, 2018. "Evaluierung des Paktes für Arbeit und Qualifizierung für Oberösterreich," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 66774.
    4. Fasani, Francesco & Frattini, Tommaso & Minale, Luigi, 2018. "(The Struggle for) Refugee Integration into the Labour Market: Evidence from Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 11333, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Zorlu, Aslan & Hartog, Joop, 2018. "The Impact of Language on Socioeconomic Integration of Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 11485, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Yao, Y. & van Ours, J.C., 2015. "Language Skills and Labor Market Performance of Immigrants in the Netherlands," Other publications TiSEM 8df5e344-eb4e-4c90-9429-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    7. Laliberté, Jean-William, 2019. "Language skill acquisition in immigrant social networks: Evidence from Australia," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 35-45.
    8. Arendt, Jacob Nielsen, 2020. "Labor Market Effects of a Work-first Policy for Refugees," GLO Discussion Paper Series 662, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    9. Nadiya Ukrayinchuk & Olena Havrylchyk, 2020. "Living in limbo: Economic and social costs for refugees," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1523-1551, November.
    10. Aoki, Yu & Santiago, Lualhati, 2018. "Speak better, do better? Education and health of migrants in the UK," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1-17.
    11. Carmen E. Carrión-Flores, 2018. "What makes you go back home? Determinants of the duration of migration of Mexican immigrants in the United States," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 8(1), pages 1-24, December.
    12. Aoki, Yu & Santiago, Lualhati, 2015. "Education, Health and Fertility of UK Immigrants: The Role of English Language Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 9498, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. 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.
    14. Céline Piton & François Rycx, 2021. "A Broken Social Elevator? Employment Outcomes of First- and Second-Generation Immigrants in Belgium," De Economist, Springer, vol. 169(3), pages 319-365, August.
    15. Wang, Haining & Cheng, Zhiming & Smyth, Russell, 2016. "Language and consumption," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 135-151.
    16. 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.
    17. Wang, Haining & Cheng, Zhiming & Smyth, Russell, 2019. "Health outcomes, health inequality and Mandarin proficiency in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 1-1.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; bilingualism; language; immigrants; earnings;
    All these keywords.

    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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