Immigrants' Language Skills: The Australian Experience in a Longitudinal Survey

58 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2002

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the determinants of English language proficiency (speaking, reading and writing) among immigrants. It presents a model of immigrant destination language acquisition based on economic incentives, exposure to the destination anguage, and efficiency in second language acquisition. A unique data set, the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia, is used to test the model. This survey had three waves, at about 6 months, 18 months and 3 1/2 years after immigration. The analyses are performed by wave, type of language skill and gender using probit analysis. Bivariate probit analysis is used across waves. The hypotheses are supported by the data. The bivariate probit analysis indicates a positive correlation in the unexplained component that declines with time between waves, indicating a regression to the mean in English language proficiency.

Keywords: Immigrants, Language Skills, Longitudinal Survey, Australia

JEL Classification: J15, J61, I29

Suggested Citation

Chiswick, Barry R. and Lee, Yew Liang and Miller, Paul W., Immigrants' Language Skills: The Australian Experience in a Longitudinal Survey (May 2002). IZA Discussion Paper No. 502. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=315013

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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