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Language knowledge and earnings in Catalonia

Listed author(s):
  • Antonio Di Paolo

    ()

    (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB); Campus de Bellaterra, Edifici B 08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola), Spain. Institut d’Economia de Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona.)

  • Josep Lluís Raymond

    ()

    (Departament de Fonaments de l’Anàlisi Econòmic, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain). Institut d’Economia de Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona.)

This paper investigates the economic value of Catalan knowledge for national and foreign first- and second-generation immigrants in Catalonia. Specifically, drawing on data from the “Survey on Living Conditions and Habits of the Catalan Population (2006)”, we want to quantify the expected earnings differential between individuals who are proficient in Catalan and those who are not, taking into account the potential endogeneity between knowledge of Catalan and earnings. The results indicate the existence of a positive return to knowledge of Catalan, with a 7.5% increase in earnings estimated by OLS; however, when we account for the presence of endogeneity, monthly earnings are around 18% higher for individuals who are able to speak and write Catalan. However, we also find that language and education are complementary inputs for generating earnings in Catalonia, given that knowledge of Catalan increases monthly earnings only for more educated individuals.

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File URL: http://www.xreap.cat/RePEc/xrp/pdf/XREAP2010-7.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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File URL: http://www.xreap.cat/RePEc/xrp/pdf/XREAP2010-7.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2010
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Paper provided by Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP) in its series Working Papers with number XREAP2010-07.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision: Jul 2010
Handle: RePEc:xrp:wpaper:xreap2010-07
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  1. Eli Berman & Kevin Lang & Erez Siniver, 1999. "Language Skill Complementarity: Returns to Immigrant Language Acquisition," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 96, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  2. Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000. "Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 156, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Thomsen, Stephan L. & Gernandt, Johannes & Aldashev, Alisher, 2008. "Language Usage, Participation, Employment and Earnings: Evidence for Foreigners in West Germany with Multiple Sources of Selection," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-090, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Kevin Lang & Erez Siniver, 2006. "The Return To English In A Non-English Speaking Country: Russian Immigrants And Native Israelis In Israel," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-033, Boston University - Department of Economics.
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  17. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-170, April.
  18. Silvio Rendon & Nuria Quella, 2009. "Occupational Selection in Multilingual Labor Markets: The Case of Catalonia," Department of Economics Working Papers 09-02, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  19. 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 467-487, September.
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