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Language Learning: Human Capital Investment or Consumption?

Author

Listed:
  • Matthias Huber

    (Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Federal Office for Migration and Refugees)

  • Silke Uebelmesser

    (Friedrich Schiller University Jena and CESifo)

Abstract

This paper focuses on foreign language learning as human capital investment or consumption. We apply the human capital investment framework to foreign language learning and enlarge it by adding consumption motives. Based on a novel dataset collected from language course participants in 14 countries worldwide, we estimate individual and country-level determinants of the different motives for language learning and of the expected use of language skills in the labour market. We highlight possible spillovers from the consumption motive to professional use in the labour market, which emerge mostly in a "tied-mover" context. This provides guidance for targeted migration and integration policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Huber & Silke Uebelmesser, 2021. "Language Learning: Human Capital Investment or Consumption?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2021-019, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2021-019
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    File URL: http://www2.wiwi.uni-jena.de/Papers/jerp2021/wp_2021_019.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Language learning; new dataset; human capital investment; consumption;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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