IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/91725.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The effects of language skills on immigrant employment and wages in Italy

Author

Listed:
  • Pieroni, Luca
  • d'Agostino, Giorgio
  • Lanari, Donatella

Abstract

In this paper, we examine how the Italian language problems of immigrants affect their labour market performance using two hitherto unexploited immigration surveys recently published by the Italian Institute of Statistics. With respect to immigrants with good Italian proficiency, our empirical findings suggest that language problems reduce the employment rate by about 30%, and point estimates are even larger when evaluating job discrimination. Italian language skills also significantly affect the wages of immigrants. The point estimates suggest a wage gap of about 20% between immigrants with Italian proficiency and those without Italian proficiency, a magnitude that increases to 25% for male immigrants. Robustness checks confirmed our estimates.

Suggested Citation

  • Pieroni, Luca & d'Agostino, Giorgio & Lanari, Donatella, 2019. "The effects of language skills on immigrant employment and wages in Italy," MPRA Paper 91725, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:91725
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/91725/1/MPRA_paper_91725.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Ebner, Christian & Helbling, Marc, 2016. "Social distance and wage inequalities for immigrants in Switzerland," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 436-454.
    3. Ken Clark & Stephen Drinkwater, 2008. "The labour-market performance of recent migrants," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 496-517, Autumn.
    4. Luca Pieroni & Fabrizio Pompei, 2008. "Evaluating innovation and labour market relationships: the case of Italy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 325-347, March.
    5. Salmasi, Luca & Pieroni, Luca, 2015. "Immigration policy and birth weight: Positive externalities in Italian law," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 128-139.
    6. Miranda, Alfonso & Zhu, Yu, 2013. "English deficiency and the native–immigrant wage gap," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 38-41.
    7. Cahit Guven & Asadul Islam, 2015. "Age at Migration, Language Proficiency, and Socioeconomic Outcomes: Evidence From Australia," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(2), pages 513-542, April.
    8. Friedberg, Rachel M, 2000. "You Can't Take It with You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 221-251, April.
    9. Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Paolo Pinotti, 2015. "Legal Status and the Criminal Activity of Immigrants," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 175-206, April.
    10. Barry Chiswick & Paul Miller, 2010. "Occupational language requirements and the value of English in the US labor market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 353-372, January.
    11. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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 165-192, January.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. Berman, Eli & Lang, Kevin & Siniver, Erez, 2003. "Language-skill complementarity: returns to immigrant language acquisition," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 265-290, June.
    19. Zschirnt, Eva & Ruedin, Didier, 2016. "Ethnic discrimination in hiring decisions: A meta-analysis of correspondence tests 1990–2015," EconStor Preprints 142176, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    20. Christian Ebner & Marc Helbling, 2016. "Social distance and wage inequalities for immigrants in Switzerland," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 30(3), pages 436-454, June.
    21. Sweetman, A. & van Ours, J.C., 2014. "Immigration : What About the Children and Grandchildren?," Discussion Paper 2014-009, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    22. Are Skeie Hermansen, 2017. "Age at Arrival and Life Chances Among Childhood Immigrants," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(1), pages 201-229, February.
    23. Patrick McGovern, 2007. "Immigration, Labour Markets and Employment Relations: Problems and Prospects," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 217-235, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Yao, Yuxin, 2017. "Essays on economics of language and family economics," Other publications TiSEM 0093bc8e-e869-4f87-8ff8-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Davia, María A. & Wang, Ting & Gámez, Matías, 2019. "Language proficiency and immigrants’ labor market outcomes in post-crisis Spain," MPRA Paper 94795, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Bonin, Holger, 2017. "The Potential Economic Benefits of Education of Migrants in the EU," IZA Research Reports 75, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Mary Antonia Silles, 2018. "The Effects of Language Skills on the Economic Assimilation of Female Immigrants in the United States," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 86(6), pages 789-815, December.
    5. De Paola, Maria & Brunello, Giorgio, 2016. "Education as a Tool for the Economic Integration of Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 9836, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Zorlu, Aslan & Hartog, Joop, 2018. "The Impact of Language on Socioeconomic Integration of Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 11485, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Giesecke, Matthias & Schuß, Eric, 2019. "Heterogeneity in marginal returns to language training of immigrants," IAB Discussion Paper 201919, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    8. Marigee Bacolod & Marcos A. Rangel, 2017. "Economic Assimilation and Skill Acquisition: Evidence From the Occupational Sorting of Childhood Immigrants," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(2), pages 571-602, April.
    9. Zhou, Yonghong & Zhu, Rong & Zheng, Xian, 2020. "Second language skills and labor market outcomes: Evidence from the handover of Hong Kong," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    10. Yao, Yuxin & van Ours, Jan C., 2019. "Dialect speech and wages," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 35-38.
    11. Yao, Yuxin & Ohinata, Asako & van Ours, Jan, 2016. "The Education Consequences of Language Proficiency for Young Children," Other publications TiSEM 55d080a9-861e-4372-b542-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    12. 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.
    13. Dovì, Max-Sebastian, 2019. "Does higher language proficiency decrease the probability of unemployment? Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 1-11.
    14. Aoki, Yu & Santiago, Lualhati, 2018. "Deprivation, Segregation, and Socioeconomic Class of UK Immigrants: Does English Proficiency Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 11368, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. 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.
    16. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht, 2011. "Migration and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 327-439, Elsevier.
    17. Åslund, Olof & Engdahl, Mattias, 2018. "The value of earning for learning: Performance bonuses in immigrant language training," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 192-204.
    18. Fenoll, Ainhoa Aparicio, 2018. "English proficiency and mathematics test scores of immigrant children in the US," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 102-113.
    19. Lang, Julia, 2018. "Employment effects of language training for unemployed immigrants," IAB Discussion Paper 201821, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    20. Lochmann, Alexia & Rapoport, Hillel & Speciale, Biagio, 2019. "The effect of language training on immigrants’ economic integration: Empirical evidence from France," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 265-296.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigrants; Language skills; Employment; Wages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:91725. 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: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.