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Occupational Selection in Multilingual Labor Markets: The Case of Catalonia

Author

Listed:
  • Silvio Rendon

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stony Brook University)

  • Nuria Quella

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stony Brook University)

Abstract

In multilingual labor markets agents with high proficiency in more than one language may be selected into occupations that require high levels of skill in communicating with customers or writing reports in more than one language. In this paper we measure this effect in Catalonia, where two languages, Catalan and Spanish, coexist. Using census data for 1991 and 1996, and controlling for endogeneity of Catalan knowledge, we find that proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing Catalan reinforces selection into being employed, being an entrepreneur, and into white-collar occupations and communication-intensive jobs. In particular, being able to read and speak Catalan increases the probability of selection into white collar occupations by betwen 9 and 14 percentage points, while writing Catalan increases by 6 to 13 percentage points the probability of engaging in services, and government and educational activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvio Rendon & Nuria Quella, 2009. "Occupational Selection in Multilingual Labor Markets: The Case of Catalonia," Department of Economics Working Papers 09-02, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nys:sunysb:09-02
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    File URL: http://ms.cc.sunysb.edu/~srendon/catocu.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Antonio Di Paolo & Josep Lluís Raymond, 2012. "Language knowledge and earnings in Catalonia," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 15, pages 89-118, May.
    2. Antonio Di Paolo & Aysit Tansel, 2015. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(4), pages 407-421, April.
    3. Bengt-Arne Wickström, 2014. "Indigenes, immigration, and integration: a welfare-economics approach to minority rights," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Alternative Theories of Public Economics, chapter 10, pages 227-242 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Language; Occupational Selection; Industry; Immigration; Skill Premium.;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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