International Migration and the Economics of Language

96 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2014

See all articles by Barry R. Chiswick

Barry R. Chiswick

University of Illinois at Chicago; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Paul W. Miller

Curtin University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Curtin University - Centre for Research in Applied Economics

Abstract

This paper provides a review of the research on the ‘economics of language' as applied to international migration. Its primary focuses are on:(1) the effect of the language skills of an individual on the choice of destination among international (and internal) migrants, both in terms of the ease of obtaining proficiency in the destination language and access to linguistic enclaves,(2) the determinants of destination language proficiency among international migrants, based on a model (the three E's) of Exposure to the destination language in the origin and destination, Efficiency in the acquisition of destination language skills, and Economic incentives for acquiring this proficiency,(3) the consequences for immigrants of acquiring destination language proficiency, with an emphasis on labor market outcomes, and in particular earnings.Factors that are considered include age, education, gender, family structure, costs of migration, linguistic distance, duration in the destination, return migration, and ethnic enclaves, among others. Analyses are reported for the immigrant experiences in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Germany, Israel and Spain.

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

JEL Classification: J15, J24, J31, J61

Suggested Citation

Chiswick, Barry R. and Miller, Paul W., International Migration and the Economics of Language. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7880. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2381132

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

Paul W. Miller

Curtin University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

GPO Box U1987
Perth WA 6845
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Curtin University - Centre for Research in Applied Economics ( email )

GPO Box U1987
Perth, Western Australia 6845
Australia

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