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Language Requirement for Naturalization, Linguistic Networks, and International Migration: The Role of Common Unofficial Language

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Abstract

This study investigates the link between common unofficial language and international migration flows. This includes exploring the role of common unofficial language in the presence of large local linguistic networks and language requirements for naturalization in the destination country. Our results show that common unofficial language promotes international migration flows to a greater extent than language proximity or common official language. The results also suggest that in the presence of large linguistic networks, a higher share of foreign population stock from the origin country, or a language requirement for naturalization, the effect of linguistic proximity in determining migration flows is diluted, while the effect of common unofficial language is not. Government policies aimed at encouraging citizens to learn at least two foreign languages in both the origin and destination countries would help create a multilingual society and a pool of international workers.

Keywords

  • International migration
  • Common unofficial language
  • Language proximity

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-981-19-1720-2_1
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Notes

  1. 1.

    We are grateful to Adsera and Pytlikova (2015) for making available the STATA Code that is used to generate the linguistic network variables.

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Declarations

Funding: This study is supported by the United Arab Emirates University under the UPAR grant (# 12B001).

Conflicts of interest/Competing interests: None

Availability of data and material: Data available on request from the authors.

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Correspondence to Usman Khalid .

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Appendices

Appendices

Table 1.4 Definitions of variables
Table 1.5 Tests of multicollinearity: Variance Inflation Factors (VIF) and Tolerance dependent variable: Ln Emigration Rate
Table 1.6 Link between language indicators and migration rates (controlling for foreign population stocks per source country population)
Table 1.7 Link between language indicators and migration (using alternative language indicators)
Table 1.8 Influence of language requirement and linguistic networks on language indicators and migration rates (using real unemployment rates in lieu of unemployment rates for estimates reported in Table 4)

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© 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

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Okafor, L., Khalid, U., Aziz, N. (2022). Language Requirement for Naturalization, Linguistic Networks, and International Migration: The Role of Common Unofficial Language. In: Lau, E., Makin, A.J., Tan, L.M. (eds) Economics and Finance Readings. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-1720-2_1

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