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Returns to foreign languages of native workers in the EU

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  • Victor Ginsburgh
  • Juan Prieto

Abstract

Most papers on returns to languages are concerned with immigrants. We use the European Community Household Panel Survey (ECHP) to infer returns on non-native languages by non-immigrants in nine countries of the European Union. We differ fromthe few other studies that deal with the same problem in three respects. First, we correct for time-dependent measurement errors in self-reporting as suggested by Dustmann and Van Soest and find that the resulting IV estimates are much larger than those obtained by OLS. We also suggest that there is little room for time-persistent errors and heterogeneity, and that therefore our estimates should not suffer from the other usual biases. Secondly, instead of using a dummy for each language, we use the ratio of the population that is not proficient in a language in each country considered. Finally, we estimate instrumental variable quantile regressions to illustrate how returns to languages vary at different points of the distribution of earnings.
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Suggested Citation

  • Victor Ginsburgh & Juan Prieto, 2007. "Returns to foreign languages of native workers in the EU," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/151573, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/151573
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martins, Pedro S. & Pereira, Pedro T., 2004. "Does education reduce wage inequality? Quantile regression evidence from 16 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 355-371, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Melitz, Jacques & Toubal, Farid, 2014. "Native language, spoken language, translation and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 351-363.
    2. Victor Ginsburgh & Shlomo Weber, 2020. "The Economics of Language," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(2), pages 348-404, June.
    3. Melitz, Jacques, 2012. "A framework for analyzing language and welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 9091, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Brindusa Anghel & Antonio Cabrales & Jesus M. Carro, 2016. "Evaluating A Bilingual Education Program In Spain: The Impact Beyond Foreign Language Learning," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 1202-1223, April.
    5. Jan Fidrmuc & Jarko Fidrmuc, 2009. "Foreign Languages and Trade," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 09-03, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
    6. Antonio di Paolo, 2011. "Knowledge of catalan, public/prívate sector choice and earnings: Evidence from a double sample selection model," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 197(2), pages 9-35, June.
    7. Brindusa Anghel & Antonio Cabrales & Jesus M. Carro, 2016. "Evaluating A Bilingual Education Program In Spain: The Impact Beyond Foreign Language Learning," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 1202-1223, April.
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