Multiple language usage and earnings in Western Europe

Multiple language usage and earnings in Western Europe Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to estimate the return to multiple language usage in the workplace. Design/methodology/approach – This article aims to estimate the effect that using an additional language at work has on earnings for a sample of workers in the European Community Household Panel survey. OLS and fixed‐effects specifications of log‐earnings regressions are estimated by country with controls for standard human capital, job, and personal characteristics. Findings: – The results indicate that the use of a second language in the workplace raises earnings by 3 to 5 percent in several Western European nations, with even greater returns found in some. The estimated returns are found to be correlated with the extent of tourism in the country, but not other measures of trade. Originality/value – This is the first paper to estimate returns to usage of an additional language in the workplace across the European Union, and contributes to our knowledge of the benefits of multi‐lingualism. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Manpower Emerald Publishing

Multiple language usage and earnings in Western Europe

International Journal of Manpower, Volume 32 (4): 22 – Jul 12, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0143-7720
D.O.I.
10.1108/01437721111148513
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to estimate the return to multiple language usage in the workplace. Design/methodology/approach – This article aims to estimate the effect that using an additional language at work has on earnings for a sample of workers in the European Community Household Panel survey. OLS and fixed‐effects specifications of log‐earnings regressions are estimated by country with controls for standard human capital, job, and personal characteristics. Findings: – The results indicate that the use of a second language in the workplace raises earnings by 3 to 5 percent in several Western European nations, with even greater returns found in some. The estimated returns are found to be correlated with the extent of tourism in the country, but not other measures of trade. Originality/value – This is the first paper to estimate returns to usage of an additional language in the workplace across the European Union, and contributes to our knowledge of the benefits of multi‐lingualism.

Journal

International Journal of ManpowerEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 12, 2011

Keywords: Language usage; Human capital; Returns to education; Earnings; Languages; Western Europe

References

  • The complementarity of language and other human capital: immigrant earnings in Canada
    Chiswick, B.R.; Miller, P.W.
  • Language proficiency and labour market performance of immigrants in the UK
    Dustmann, C.; Fabbri, F.
  • The English language fluency and earnings of ethnic minorities in Britain
    Lindley, J.

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