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Heterogeneity in marginal returns to language training of immigrants

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  • Giesecke, Matthias
  • Schuss, Eric

Abstract

We estimate the effect of language training on subsequent employment and wages of immigrants under essential heterogeneity. The identifying variation is based on regional differences in language training availability that we use to instrument endogenous participation. Estimating marginal treatment effects along the distribution of observables and unobservables that drive individual participation decisions, we find that immigrants with higher gains are more likely to select into language training than immigrants with lower gains. We document up to 15% higher employment rates and 13% wage gains for immigrants with a high desire to participate but the positive returns vanish with increasing resistance to treatment. This pattern of selection on gains correlates with unobserved ability and motivation, promoting investments in education and job-specific skills that yield higher returns when complemented by language capital in the host country.

Suggested Citation

  • Giesecke, Matthias & Schuss, Eric, 2019. "Heterogeneity in marginal returns to language training of immigrants," Ruhr Economic Papers 812, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:812
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    language training; heterogeneous returns; marginal treatment effects; continuous instrument;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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