Family Matters: The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Destination Language Acquisition

39 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2002

See all articles by Barry R. Chiswick

Barry R. Chiswick

University of Illinois at Chicago; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Yew L. Lee

University of Western Australia

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

Date Written: March 2002

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the relationship among family members in the determinants of destination language proficiency among immigrants. A model of immigrant language proficiency is augmented to include dynamics among family members. It is tested using data on a sample of recent immigrants. Children are shown to have a negative effect on their mother's language proficiency, but no effect on their father's. There is a substantial positive correlation between the language skills of spouses. This is due to the correlation between spouses in both the measured determinants and the unmeasured determinants of destination language skills among spouses.

Keywords: Immigrants, Language Skills, Family, Longitudinal Data

JEL Classification: J15, J16, J24, J61

Suggested Citation

Chiswick, Barry R. and Lee, Yew Liang and Miller, Paul W., Family Matters: The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Destination Language Acquisition (March 2002). IZA Discussion Paper No. 460. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=306960

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

Yew Liang Lee

University of Western Australia ( email )

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
AUSTRALIA

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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