IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey

  • Antonio Di Paolo

    ()

    (Department of Econometrics, University of Barcelona)

  • Aysit Tansel

    ()

    (Department of Economics, METU)

Foreign language skills represent a form of human capital that can be rewarded in the labor market. Drawing on data from the Adult Education Survey of 2007, this is the first study estimating returns to foreign language skills in Turkey. We contribute to the literature on the economic value of language knowledge, with a special focus on a country characterized by fast economic and social development. Although English is the most widely spoken foreign language in Turkey, we initially consider the economic value of different foreign languages among the employed males aged 25 to 65. We find positive and significant returns to proficiency in English and Russian, which increase with the level of competence. Knowledge of French and German also appears to be positively rewarded in the Turkish labor market, although their economic value seems mostly linked to an increased likelihood to hold specific occupations rather than increased earnings within occupations. Focusing on English, we also explore the heterogeneity in returns to different levels of proficiency by frequency of English use at work, birth-cohort, education, occupation and rural/urban location. The results are also robust to the endogenous specification of English language skills.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.erc.metu.edu.tr/menu/series13/1311.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University in its series ERC Working Papers with number 1311.

as
in new window

Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision: Nov 2013
Handle: RePEc:met:wpaper:1311
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ankara 06531

Phone: +90 (312) 210 2003
Fax: (312) 210 1244
Web page: http://www.erc.metu.edu.tr
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(2), pages 133-56.
  2. Mehtabul Azam & Aimee Chin & Nishith Prakash, 2013. "The Returns to English-Language Skills in India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(2), pages 335 - 367.
  3. Tansel, A., 1992. "Wage Employment, Earnings and Returns to Schooling for Men and Women in Turkey," Papers 661, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  4. Christian Dustmann & Arthur Van Soest, 2002. "Language and the Earnings of Immigrants," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(3), pages 473-492, April.
  5. Michael A Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, . "The English Language Fluency and Occupational Success of Ethnic Minority Immigrant Men Living in English Metropolitan Areas," Discussion Papers in Public Sector Economics 99/4, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  6. Ku, Hyejin & Zussman, Asaf, 2010. "Lingua franca: The role of English in international trade," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 250-260, August.
  7. Tansel, Aysit & Kan, Elif Oznur, 2012. "The Formal/Informal Employment Earnings Gap: Evidence from Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 6556, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Williams, Donald R., 2006. "The Economic Returns to Multiple Language Usage in Western Europe," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-07, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  9. James Levinsohn, 2004. "Globalization and the Returns to Speaking English in South Africa," Working Papers 523, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  10. 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.
  11. Dustmann C. & Van Soest A., 2004. "An Analysis of Speaking Fluency of Immigrants Using Ordered Response Models With Classification Errors," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 22, pages 312-321, July.
  12. Ingo Eduard Isphording & Sebastian Otten, 2013. "The Costs of Babylon—Linguistic Distance in Applied Economics," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 354-369, 05.
  13. Eli Berman & Kevin Lang & Erez Siniver, 1999. "Language Skill Complementarity: Returns to Immigrant Language Acquisition," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 96, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  14. GINSBURGH, Victor & ORTUÑO-ORTÍN, Ignacio & WEBER, Shlomo, . "Learning foreign languages: Theoretical and empirical implications of the Selten and Pool model," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2027, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  15. Núria Quella & Silvio Rendon, 2012. "Occupational selection in multilingual labor markets: the case of Catalonia," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(8), pages 918-937, July.
  16. Aysit Tansel & Pinar Yasar, 2010. "Macroeconomic impact of remittances on output growth: Evidence from Turkey," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 7(2), pages 132-143, October.
  17. Oh, Chang Hoon & Travis Selmier, W. & Lien, Donald, 2011. "International trade, foreign direct investment, and transaction costs in languages," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 732-735.
  18. Gabriel R G Benito & Geir Gripsrud, 1992. "The Expansion of Foreign Direct Investments: Discrete Rational Location Choices or a Cultural Learning Process?," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(3), pages 461-476, September.
  19. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2007. "Occupational Language Requirements and the Value of English in the U.S. Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 2664, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. 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.
  21. Rendón, Silvio, 2003. "The catalan premium: language and employment in Catalonia," UC3M Working papers. Economics we033410, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  22. Casale, Daniela & Posel, Dorrit, 2011. "English language proficiency and earnings in a developing country: The case of South Africa," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 385-393, August.
  23. 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.
  24. Arslanturk, Yalcin & Balcilar, Mehmet & Ozdemir, Zeynel Abidin, 2011. "Time-varying linkages between tourism receipts and economic growth in a small open economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 664-671, January.
  25. Victor A. Ginsburgh & Juan Prieto-Rodriguez, 2011. "Returns to Foreign Languages of Native Workers in the European Union," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(3), pages 599-618, April.
  26. Alicia Adsera & Mariola Pytlikova, 2012. "The role of language in shaping international migration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1206, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  27. GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & GINSBURG, Victor A. & LAUSSEL, Didier & WEBER, Shlomo, . "Foreign languages acquisition: self-learning and language schools," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2318, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  28. 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.
  29. Melitz, Jacques, 2008. "Language and foreign trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 667-699, May.
  30. Antonio Di Paolo & Josep Lluís Raymond, 2010. "Language knowledge and earnings in Catalonia," Working Papers wpdea1001, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  31. Alejandra Cattaneo & Rainer Winkelmann, 2003. "Earning Differentials between German and French Speakers in Switzerland," SOI - Working Papers 0309, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Nov 2003.
  32. Mark B. Stewart, 1982. "On Least Squares Estimation When the Dependent Variable is Grouped," Working Papers 539, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  33. Thomsen, Stephan L. & Gernandt, Johannes & Aldashev, Alisher, 2008. "Language Usage, Participation, Employment and Earnings: Evidence for Foreigners in West Germany with Multiple Sources of Selection," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-090, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  34. Peter Howitt, 1999. "Steady Endogenous Growth with Population and R & D Inputs Growing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 715-730, August.
  35. 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 246-88, April.
  36. Leslie, Derek & Lindley, Joanne, 2001. "The Impact of Language Ability on Employment and Earnings of Britain's Ethnic Communities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 587-606, November.
  37. Aysit TANSEL, . "Changing Returns To Education For Men And Women In A Developing Country: Turkey, 1994, 2002-2005," EcoMod2008 23800140, EcoMod.
  38. David Roodman, 2011. "Fitting fully observed recursive mixed-process models with cmp," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(2), pages 159-206, June.
  39. Jeffrey Church & Ian King, 1993. "Bilingualism and Network Externalities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 337-45, May.
  40. 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.
  41. Segerstrom, Paul S., 1998. "The Long-Run Growth Effects of R&D Subsidies," Working Paper Series 506, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  42. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2013. "The impact of surplus skills on earnings: Extending the over-education model to language proficiency," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 263-275.
  43. Giulia BETTIN & Riccardo LUCCHETTI, 2010. "Interval Regression Models with;Endogenous Explanatory Variables," Working Papers 339, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  44. Aysit Tansel, 1998. "Self Employment Wage Employment Choice and Returns to Education for Urban Men and Women in Turkey," Working Papers 9804, Economic Research Forum, revised Apr 1998.
  45. Ott Toomet, 2011. "Learn English, Not the Local Language! Ethnic Russians in the Baltic States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 526-31, May.
  46. repec:zbw:rwirep:0337 is not listed on IDEAS
  47. Bruce Kogut & Harbir Singh, 1988. "The Effect of National Culture on the Choice of Entry Mode," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(3), pages 411-432, September.
  48. William K. Hutchinson, 2005. "“Linguistic Distance” as a Determinant of Bilateral Trade," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1–15, July.
  49. Angrist, Joshua D & Lavy, Victor, 1997. "The Effect of a Change in Language of Instruction on the Returns to Schooling in Morocco," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S48-76, January.
  50. Antonio di Paolo, 2011. "Knowledge of catalan, public/prívate sector choice and earnings: Evidence from a double sample selection model," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 197(2), pages 9-35, June.
  51. David Albouy, 2008. "The wage gap between Francophones and Anglophones: a Canadian perspective, 1970-2000," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1211-1238, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:met:wpaper:1311. 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: (Erol Taymaz)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.