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The Causal Effect of Deficiency at English on Female Immigrants’ Labour Market Outcomes in the UK

  • Alfonso Miranda


  • Yu Zhu


Using the first wave of the UK Household Longitudinal Survey, we investigate the extent to which deficiency at English as measured by English as Additional Language (EAL), contribute to the immigrant-native wage gap for female employees in the UK, after controlling for age, region of residence, educational attainment and ethnicity. We allow for endogeneity of EAL and correct for bias arising from self-selection into employment using a 3-step estimation procedure. We find very strong evidence of negative selection of EAL into employment. Moreover, we also present evidence of self-selection bias on the wage equation, which if uncorrected, would result in significant underestimation of the causal effect of EAL on the immigrant-native wage gap for women.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 1301.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:1301
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
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  1. Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000. "Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 2487, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 133-56.
  3. 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.
  4. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-70, April.
  5. Whitney Newey, 1999. "Two Step Series Estimation of Sample Selection Models," Working papers 99-04, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Miranda, Alfonso & Zhu, Yu, 2012. "English Deficiency and the Native-Immigrant Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 7019, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Dustmann, Christian & van Soest, Arthur, 1998. "Language and the Earnings of Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 2012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Language skills and earnings among legalized aliens," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 63-89.
  10. 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.
  11. van Ours, Jan C. & Veenman, Justus, 2006. "Age at immigration and educational attainment of young immigrants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 310-316, March.
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  13. Christian Dustmann & Stephen Machin & Uta Schönberg, 2010. "Ethnicity and Educational Achievement in Compulsory Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(546), pages F272-F297, 08.
  14. Joanne K. Lindley & Angela Dale & Shirley Dex, 2006. "Ethnic differences in women's employment: the changing role of qualifications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 351-378, April.
  15. Francis Vella, 1998. "Estimating Models with Sample Selection Bias: A Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 127-169.
  16. Lindley, Joanne, 2002. "The English Language Fluency and Earnings of Ethnic Minorities in Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(4), pages 467-87, September.
  17. Giuseppe De Luca, 2008. "SNP and SML estimation of univariate and bivariate binary-choice models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 190-220, June.
  18. Francine D Blau & Lawrence M Kahn & Kerry L Papps, 2011. "Gender, Source Country Characteristics, and Labor Market Assimilation among Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 43-58, February.
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