Social Contacts, Dutch Language Proficiency and Immigrant Economic Performance in the Netherlands: A Longitudinal Study

36 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2016

See all articles by Barry R. Chiswick

Barry R. Chiswick

University of Illinois at Chicago; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Zhiling Wang

Tinbergen Institute; Erasmus University Rotterdam

Abstract

Using longitudinal data on immigrants in the Netherlands for the years 1991, 1994, 1998, 2002, we examined the impacts of social contacts and Dutch language proficiency on adult foreign-born men's earnings, employment and occupational status. The main conclusions are as follows. On average, social contacts and a good mastery of the Dutch language enhance immigrants' economic performances. The effects are stronger for immigrants with low-skill-transferability than for immigrants with high-skill-transferability, and are stronger for economic migrants than for non-economic migrants. Contact with Dutch people and Dutch organisations unambiguously enhances all aspects of immigrants' economic performance, however, we found no evidence for the positive effect of co-ethnic contact on employment status.

Keywords: social capital, Dutch language proficiency, labour market performance, Dutch immigrants, skill transferability

JEL Classification: J15, J61, Z13

Suggested Citation

Chiswick, Barry R. and Wang, Zhiling, Social Contacts, Dutch Language Proficiency and Immigrant Economic Performance in the Netherlands: A Longitudinal Study. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9760. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2742548

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

Zhiling Wang

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

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