The Bilingual Gap in Children's Language and Emotional Development

35 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2018

See all articles by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Colm P. Harmon

The University of Sydney - School of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Anita Staneva

Swansea University - School of Business and Economics

Abstract

In this paper we examine whether – conditional on other family inputs – bilingual children achieve different outcomes in language and emotional development. Our data come from the UK Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) which allows us to analyze children's language and emotional development in depth. We relax the usual assumption that the production function underpinning child development is not itself a function of the age of the child and estimate the bilingual gap in children's language and emotional development as a cumulative process that depends on current and past endowments of cognitive and non-cognitive capacity. We find that the language development of bilingual children is not significantly different to that of their monolingual peers; however, there is evidence of a positive effect of bilingualism on emotional development.

Keywords: cognitive and non-cognitive skills, production function, value-added model, cohort studies

JEL Classification: I20, J24, D10

Suggested Citation

Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. and Harmon, Colm P. and Staneva, Anita, The Bilingual Gap in Children's Language and Emotional Development. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11800. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3253458

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (Contact Author)

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Colm P. Harmon

The University of Sydney - School of Economics ( email )

Rm 370 Merewether (H04)
Sydney, NSW 2006 2008
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Anita Staneva

Swansea University - School of Business and Economics ( email )

Singleton Park
Swansea, SA2 8PP
United Kingdom

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