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Family Matters: The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Destination Language Acquisition

  • Barry R. Chiswick

    (Department of Economics, The University of Illinois at Chicago)

  • Yew Liang Lee

    (Department of Economics, The University of Western Australia)

  • Paul W. Miller

    (Department of Economics, The University of Western Australia)

This paper is concerned with the relationship among family members in the determinants of destination language proficiency among immigrants. A model of immigrant language proficiency is augmented to include dynamics among family members. It is tested using data on a sample of recent immigrants. Chidlren are shown to have a negative effect on their mother's language proficiency, but no effect on their father's. There is a substantial positive correlation between the language skills of spouses. This is due to the correlation between spouses in both the measured determinants and the unmeasured determinants of destination language skills amoung spouses.

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File URL: http://ecompapers.biz.uwa.edu.au/paper/PDF%20of%20Discussion%20Papers/2002/02-06.pdf
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Paper provided by The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion / Working Papers with number 02-06.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uwa:wpaper:02-06
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Web page: http://www.business.uwa.edu.au/school/disciplines/economics

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  1. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1997. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 705-27, September.
  2. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "Immigrants' Language Skills and Visa Category," IZA Discussion Papers 471, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 133-56.
  4. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "Family Matters: The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Destination Language Acquisition," IZA Discussion Papers 460, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigration, Language and Multiculturalism in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 32(4), pages 369-385.
  6. Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2001. "The Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 34(4), pages 467-477.
  7. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1994. "Language Choice among Immigrants in a Multi-lingual Destination," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 119-31.
  8. Albert Breton, 1978. "Nationalism and Language Policies," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 11(4), pages 656-68, November.
  9. Borjas, George J, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-50, February.
  10. Barry R. Chiswick & Yew Liang Lee & Paul W. Miller, 2002. "Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Occupational Mobility: A Test of the Immigrant Assimilation Hypothesis," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 02-08, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  11. Barry R. Chiswick, 2000. "A Model of Immigrant Language Acquisition: Application to Male Immigrants in Canada," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 149, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  12. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-73, October.
  13. Barry Chiswick & Paul Miller, 2001. "A model of destination-language acquisition: Application to male immigrants in Canada," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 391-409, August.
  14. Chiswick, Barry R, 1977. "Sons of Immigrants: Are They at an Earnings Disadvantage?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 376-80, February.
  15. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
  16. 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 246-88, April.
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