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The Intergenerational Effects of Language Proficiency on Child Health Outcomes

Nicole Black and Johannes Kunz ()

No 05-19, Monash Economics Working Papers from Monash University, Department of Economics

Abstract: Language proficiency is a crucial skill for immigrants that influences their social integration and their children’s development. This study examines the intergenerational effects of limited English proficiency (LEP) on children’s health and health care utilisation. We use 10 years of Australian administrative health care records linked to survey data, and a structural break in language acquisition, based on the parent’s age at arrival into Australia. We find that parental LEP has a strong and positive effect on children’s health care costs, but no effect on their physical or mental health. A lack of parent social networks is a plausible explanation.

Keywords: Second-Generation; Language Proficiency; Health Outcomes; Health Care Utilisation; Parenting Styles; Social Networks. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 I12 J13 J24 J61 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 46 pages
Date: 2019-06
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