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Nonparametric bounds on the returns to language skills

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Abstract

This paper applies the theoretical literature on nonparametric bounds on treatment effects to the estimation of how limited English proficiency (LEP) affects wages and employment opportunities for Hispanic workers in the United States. I analyze the identifying power of several weak assumptions on treatment response and selection, and stress the interactions between LEP and education, occupation and immigration status. I show that the combination of two weak but credible assumptions provides informative upper bounds on the returns to language skills for certain subgroups of the population. Adding age at arrival as a monotone instrumental variable also provides informative lower bounds.

Suggested Citation

  • Libertad González, 2003. "Nonparametric bounds on the returns to language skills," Economics Working Papers 714, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:714
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    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.
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    3. McManus, Walter S, 1985. "Labor Market Costs of Language Disparity: An Interpretation of Hispanic Earnings Differences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 818-827, September.
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    6. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-288, April.
    7. Geoffrey Carliner, 1996. "The Wages and Language Skills of U.S. Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 5763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
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    11. John V. Pepper, 2000. "The Intergenerational Transmission Of Welfare Receipt: A Nonparametric Bounds Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 472-488, August.
    12. 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.
    13. McManus, Walter & Gould, William & Welch, Finis, 1983. "Earnings of Hispanic Men: The Role of English Language Proficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 101-130, April.
    14. 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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    16. Geoffrey Carliner, 1995. "The Language Ability of U.S. Immigrants: Assimilation and Cohort Effects," NBER Working Papers 5222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Manski, C.F. & Sandefur, G.D. & Mclanahan, S. & Powers, D., 1990. "Alternative Estimates Of The Effect Of Family Stucture During Adolescence On Hight School Graduation," Working papers 90-31, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Gerfin & Martin Schellhorn, 2006. "Nonparametric bounds on the effect of deductibles in health care insurance on doctor visits - Swiss evidence," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(9), pages 1011-1020.
    2. Stefan Boes, 2009. "Bounds on Counterfactual Distributions Under Semi-Monotonicity Constraints," SOI - Working Papers 0920, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    3. Rhoads Christopher H., 2012. "Problems with Tests of the Missingness Mechanism in Quantitative Policy Studies," Statistics, Politics and Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-25, March.
    4. Jeremiah Richey, 2016. "An Odd Couple: Monotone Instrumental Variables and Binary Treatments," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 1099-1110, June.
    5. Victor Chernozhukov & Sokbae Lee & Adam M. Rosen, 2013. "Intersection Bounds: Estimation and Inference," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(2), pages 667-737, March.
    6. 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.
    7. Rosangela Bando & Xia Li, 2014. "The Effect of In-Service Teacher Training on Student Learning of English as a Second Language," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6596, Inter-American Development Bank.
    8. Rosangela Bando & Xia Li, 2014. "The Effect of In-Service Teacher Training on Student Learning of English as a Second Language," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 86173, Inter-American Development Bank.
    9. Victor Ginsburgh & Juan Prieto-Rodriguez, 2013. "Is there a Gender Bias in the Use of Foreign Languages in Europe?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 552-566, November.
    10. repec:eee:irlaec:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:74-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lafférs, Lukáš, 2013. "A note on bounding average treatment effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 424-428.
    12. Tsunao Okumura & Emiko Usui, 2014. "Concave‐monotone treatment response and monotone treatment selection: With an application to the returns to schooling," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 175-194, March.
    13. Aoki, Yu & Santiago, Lualhati, 2018. "Deprivation, Segregation, and Socioeconomic Class of UK Immigrants: Does English Proficiency Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 11368, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Deockhyun Ryu & Changhui Kang, 2013. "Do Private Tutoring Expenditures Raise Academic Performance? Evidence from Middle School Students in South Korea," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 59-83, March.

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    Keywords

    Nonparametric bounds; language skills; Hispanic workers; labor market outcomes;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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