, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 31-57

Immigrant earnings: Language skills, linguistic concentrations and the business cycle

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Abstract.

This study of the determinants of earnings among adult foreign-born men using the 1990 Census of Population focuses on the effects of the respondent's own English language skills, the effects of living in a linguistic concentration area, and the effects of the stage of the business cycle at entry into the U.S. labor market. The analysis demonstrates the importance of English language fluency among the foreign born from non-English speaking countries. There is also strong evidence for the complementarity between language skills and other forms of human capital. Furthermore, there is strong evidence using selectivity correction techniques for the endogeneity between language and earnings.

Received: 30 November 1999/Accepted: 6 February 2001