Language Proficiency and Subjective Well-being: Evidence from Immigrants in Australia
Jongkwan Lee (),
Anthony Niu () and
Hee-Seung Yang ()
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Jongkwan Lee: Ewha Womans University
Anthony Niu: University of Melbourne
Hee-Seung Yang: Yonsei University
Journal of Happiness Studies, 2022, vol. 23, issue 5, No 4, 1847-1866
Abstract This study examines the relationship between language proficiency and subjective well-being among the first-generation immigrants in Australia. To address endogeneity-related concerns, we use the age at arrival and country of origin as an instrument for English proficiency. Our results show that greater proficiency in English significantly improves self-reported mental health and life satisfaction. These impacts are pronounced among subgroups of males, highly educated individuals, and older immigrants who have lived in Australia for over 30 years. Our mediation analysis suggests that physical health is one of the most important channels through which immigrants’ destination-language acquisition affects their subjective well-being.
Keywords: Language proficiency; Immigrant; Subjective well-being; Mental health; Physical health; Social capital; Instrumental variable (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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