School of Economics

2012 Discussion Papers

 

School of Economics Discussion Paper 12/13

September 2012

 

English Deficiency and the Native-Immigrant Wage Gap


Alfonso Miranda and Yu Zhu
Center for Research and Teaching in Economics and University of Kent

 

Abstract:

We focus on the effect of English deficiency on the native-immigrant wage gap for employees in the UK using the first wave of the UK Household Longitudinal Survey (Understanding Society). We show that the wage gap is robust to controls for age, region of residence, educational attainment and ethnicity, particularly for men. However, English as Additional Language (EAL) is capable of explaining virtually all the remaining wage gap between natives and immigrants. Using the interaction of language of country of birth and age-at-arrival as instrument, we find strong evidence of a causal effect of EAL on the native-immigrant wage gap.

JEL Classification: J15; J61

 

Keywords: native-immigrant wage gap; English as Additional Language (EAL); age-at-arrival

 


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