Do English Skills Affect Muslim Immigrants' Economic and Social Integration Differentially?

59 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2019

See all articles by Mutlu Yuksel

Mutlu Yuksel

Dalhousie University; IZA

Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Cahit Guven

Deakin University - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance

Abstract

This paper estimates the returns to English-speaking fluency on the socioeconomic outcomes of childhood immigrants. We further investigate whether Muslim childhood immigrants face additional hurdles in economic and social integration into the host country. Motivated by the critical age hypothesis, we identify the causal effects of English skills on socioeconomic outcomes by exploring the differences in the country of origin and age at arrival across childhood immigrants. We first document that all childhood immigrants who migrate from non-English-speaking countries at a younger age attain higher levels of English skills.We also find that acquiring better English-language skills improves the educational attainment and labor and marriage market prospects of non-Muslim childhood immigrants significantly and increases their participation in volunteer work. However, our results show that while a good command of English enhances the educational attainments of Muslim childhood immigrants, it shows no positive return in either the labor or marriage markets. Our results also show that progress in English fails to improve Muslim childhood immigrants' engagement in voluntary work, meaning that the opportunity for social cohesion is missed.

Keywords: immigration, english proficiency, socioeconomic outcomes, Muslims

JEL Classification: J12, J13, J24, J31, J61, J62

Suggested Citation

Yuksel, Mutlu and Yuksel, Mutlu and Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude and Guven, Cahit, Do English Skills Affect Muslim Immigrants' Economic and Social Integration Differentially?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12381, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3401149

Mutlu Yuksel (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University ( email )

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3J5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://myweb.dal.ca/mt899590/

IZA ( email )

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

Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Cahit Guven

Deakin University - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance ( email )

221 Burwood Highway
Burwood, Victoria 3215
Australia

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