Language Knowledge and Earnings in Catalonia
Journal of Applied Economics. Vol XV, No. 1 (May 2012), 89-118
Posted: 13 Jun 2012
Date Written: May 1, 2012
This paper represents the first contribution that investigates the economic value of Catalan knowledge in terms of earnings, focusing on 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 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. When we account for the presence of endogeneity, monthly earnings are around 18% higher for individuals who are able to speak and write Catalan. 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.
Keywords: language, earnings, immigrants, endogeneity, complementarity, Antonio
JEL Classification: J79, J24, J61, C31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation