The Economics of Language: An Introduction and Overview

31 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2008

See all articles by Barry R. Chiswick

Barry R. Chiswick

University of Illinois at Chicago; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

This paper provides an introduction and overview of my research on the Economics of Language. The approach is that language skills among immigrants and native-born linguistic minorities are a form of human capital. There are costs and benefits associated with this characteristic embodied in the person. The analysis focuses on the economic and demographic determinants of destination language proficiency among immigrants. This is based on Exposure, Efficiency and Economic Incentives (the three E's) for proficiency. It also focuses on the labor market consequences (earnings) of proficiency for immigrants and native-born bilinguals. The empirical testing for the US, Canada, Australia, Israel and Bolivia is supportive of the theoretical models.

Keywords: immigrants, language, bilingualism, human capital, earnings

JEL Classification: J15, J24, J31, J61

Suggested Citation

Chiswick, Barry R., The Economics of Language: An Introduction and Overview. , Vol. , pp. -, . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1155862 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Barry R. Chiswick (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

601 S. Morgan Street, Room 2103UH
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States
312-996-2683 (Phone)
312-996-3344 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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