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Language Fluency and Earnings : Estimation with Misclassified Language Indicators

Author

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  • Dustmann, C.
  • van Soest, A.H.O.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

Abstract

We use panel data from the German Socio Economic Panel to estimate the determinants of language fluency of immigrants, and its impact on earnings. Self reported measures of language proficiency contain substantial reporting errors. We specify a panel data model which takes explicitly account of misclassification. We extend the existing literature on misclassification of categorical dependent variables by distinguishing between time persistent and time varying misclassification errors, using panel data. The repeated information on language fluency allows us also to distinguish between cohort effects and exposure effects. We then add a wage equation to the model and estimate it jointly with the speaking fluency equation. In this way, we take account of the two problems that may bias OLS estimates: misclassification errors and correlated unobserved individual heterogeneity in wages and speaking fluency. We nd that both have important consequences for the estimated effect of speaking fluency on earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Dustmann, C. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1998. "Language Fluency and Earnings : Estimation with Misclassified Language Indicators," Discussion Paper 1998-120, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:5f5a4231-5663-4a13-92a7-51aaf5dd2805
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Douglas, Stratford M & Conway, Karen Smith & Ferrier, Gary D, 1995. "A Switching Frontier Model for Imperfect Sample Separation Information: With an Application to Constrained Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 503-529, May.
    2. Butler, J S & Moffitt, Robert, 1982. "A Computationally Efficient Quadrature Procedure for the One-Factor Multinomial Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 761-764, May.
    3. Geoffrey Carliner, 1981. "Wage Differences by Language Group and the Market for Language Skills in Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(3), pages 384-399.
    4. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    5. Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, 2018. "English Language Proficiency and the Economic Progress of Immigrants," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International and Interregional Migration Theory and Evidence, chapter 11, pages 165-173 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. Gilles Grenier, 1984. "The Effects of Language Characteristics on the Wages of Hispanic-American Males," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(1), pages 35-52.
    7. 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 133-156.
    8. Kossoudji, Sherrie A, 1988. "English Language Ability and the Labor Market Opportunities of Hispanic and East Asian Immigrant Men," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 205-228, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    panel data; wages; foreign workers;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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