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The Effects of Language Skills on the Economic Assimilation of Female Immigrants in the United States

Mary Antonia Silles

Manchester School, 2018, vol. 86, issue 6, 789-815

Abstract: This paper uses recent data from the American Community Survey between 2010 and 2015 to investigate the effect of language skills on women’s economic assimilation who immigrated to the United States as children. The problem of endogenous language acquisition and measurement error in the language variable is addressed utilizing the phenomenon that younger children learn languages more easily than older children to construct an identifying instrument. Two‐stage‐least‐squares estimates suggest that greater English proficiency has a positive effect on a number of indicators of economic assimilation of adult women including several measures of labor supply and earnings. A range of sensitivity tests are undertaken to check the validity of these results.

Date: 2018
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