Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 133–156 | Cite as

Speaking fluency, writing fluency and earnings of migrants

  • Christian Dustmann


This paper analyzes the determinants of language abilities of migrant workers and the impact of language proficiency on their earnings position. The analysis is based on data for West Germany. The first part presents an ordered probit analysis of the determinants of German speaking and writing fluency for both male and female migrants. The data allow not only to consider personal characteristics of the migrant as explanatory variables, but to analyze additionally the effect of the family context and of illiteracy on the migrant's German language fluency. In the second part, the effect of language on the migrant's earnings position is analyzed. It is shown that language abilities, and especially writing proficiency, considerably improve the earnings position of migrants.


Explanatory Variable Personal Characteristic Migrant Worker Language Proficiency Language Ability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Dustmann
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of BielefeldBielefeldGermany

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