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The English language fluency and occupational success of ethnic minority immigrant men living in English metropolitan areas

Michael Shields and Stephen Wheatley Price

Journal of Population Economics, 2002, vol. 15, issue 1, 137-160

Abstract: This paper examines two crucial aspects of the assimilation experience of ethnic minority immigrants in the United Kingdom. It explores the determinants of their English language (speaking) fluency and the key role such skills play in their occupational success. Our sample is derived from the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities undertaken in 1994. Uniquely this data contains an interviewer-assessed measure of English language fluency. Importantly, we also attempt to control for possible endogeneity bias in the estimates of the effect of language fluency on occupational success. We find that fluency is associated with significantly higher mean hourly occupational wages.

Keywords: Language; occupational success; immigrants and ethnic minorities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J15 J24 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2002-01-24
Note: Received: 26 November 1999/Accepted: 03 August 2000 received from participants at the Centre for Economic Policy Research conference "Marginal Labour Markets in Metropolitan Areas" held in Dublin between 10-12 October 1999 where an earlier version of this paper was presented. In addition Barry R. Chiswick and three anonymous referees have made valuable suggestions which have greatly improved the final version of this paper. The Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities (deposited by the Policy Studies Institute) and the Quarterly Labour Force Survey of the United Kingdom (Crown Copyright; deposited by the Office for National Statistics) were used with permission. The authors are grateful to the Data Archive at the University of Essex for supplying the data and documentation. Responsible editor: Alan Barrett.-->
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