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Matching Language Proficiency to Occupation: The Effect on Immigrants' Earnings

Barry Chiswick () and Paul Miller

No 07-07, Economics Discussion / Working Papers from The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect on earnings of the matching of English language skills to occupational requirements. It uses data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database and a “Realized Matches” procedure to quantify expected levels of English skills in each of over 500 occupations in the US Census. Earnings data from the 2000 US Census for foreign-born adult male workers are then examined in relation to these occupational English requirements. The analyses show that earnings are related to correct matching of an individual’s language skills and that of his occupation. Moreover, the findings are robust with respect to a range of measurement and specification issues. Immigrant settlement policy may have a role to play in matching immigrants to jobs that use their language skills most effectively.

Keywords: English Language; Earnings; Immigrants; Schooling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 J31 F22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab, nep-ltv and nep-mig
Date: 2007
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Related works:
Working Paper: Matching Language Proficiency to Occupation: The Effect on Immigrants' Earnings (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: Matching Language Proficiency to Occupation: The Effect on Immigrants’ Earnings (2007) Downloads
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