Language Skills and Immigrant Adjustment: What Immigration Policy Can Do!

65 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2004

See all articles by Barry R. Chiswick

Barry R. Chiswick

University of Illinois at Chicago; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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: November 2004

Abstract

This study provides an account of the dynamics of the dominant language adjustment process among immigrants in Australia using the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia, which comprises two cohorts of immigrants that arrived in Australia around five years apart. There are two special features of these data that provide the framework for analysis. First, the visa class under which the immigrants entered Australia is known from administrative records. Second, between the two surveys, some visa classes, but not others, were affected by changes in government policy relating to the role of English language skills in immigrant selection. A difference between differences approach is used to isolate the impacts of these policy changes, and thus enable an assessment of what immigrant selection policy can do in this area. It is found that visa category, educational attainment and age at migration impact on immigrant's language skills. The increased English Proficiency requirement for the Independent and Skilled-Australian Sponsored categories appears to have been successful in raising the English language proficiency of these immigrants.

Keywords: immigrants, immigration policy, language, visa category

JEL Classification: F22, J61, J15, J24

Suggested Citation

Chiswick, Barry R. and Miller, Paul W., Language Skills and Immigrant Adjustment: What Immigration Policy Can Do! (November 2004). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1419. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=632341

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

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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