Chapter

How Labor Migrants Fare

Part of the series Population Economics pp 167-190

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

  • Michael A. ShieldsAffiliated withPublic Sector Economics Research Centre, Department of Economics, University of Leicester
  • , Stephen Wheatley PriceAffiliated withPublic Sector Economics Research Centre, Department of Economics, University of Leicester

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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.

Key words

Language occupational success immigrants ethnic minorities

JEL classification

J15 J24 J61