Language Barriers and Immigrant Health Production
Andrew Clarke () and
Ingo Isphording ()
No 8846, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
We study the impact of language deficiency on the health production of childhood migrants to Australia. Our identification strategy relies on a quasi-experiment comparing immigrants arriving at different ages and from different linguistic origins by utilising a measure of differences along a continuous range of linguistic distances. Our main results indicate a large negative effect of English deficiency on physical health that is robust to a range of different specifications. In the presence of considerable non-classical measurement error in self-reported language proficiency, our results provide lower and upper bounds for the true effect of English deficiency on health of one half and a full standard deviation in the health score respectively. The empirical analysis is framed in terms of a Grossman model which indicates a twofold role of language skills in health production: language deficiency directly affects the efficiency of health production and indirectly affects access to health inputs. We provide some suggestive evidence on the relative importance of these distinct roles.
Keywords: language skills; international migration; health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 I12 J24 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-lab, nep-lma and nep-mig
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Published - published in: Health Economics, 2017, 26 (6), 765 - 778
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8846
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