Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/99021
Authors: 
Aparicio Fenoll, Ainhoa
Kuehn, Zoë
Year of Publication: 
2014
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 8250
Abstract: 
Speaking the language of the host country eases migrants' integration and tends to boost their economic success in the country of destination. However, the decision to acquire language skills may in itself be determined by the intention to migrate. In addition, conditional on being a migrant, the relation between language skills and migrants' integration and economic success goes both ways. Using data on the study of foreign languages during compulsory education in European countries, we test whether and how much language proficiency determines migration flows across Europe. The European Union with basically unlimited labor mobility and pronounced differences in youth unemployment rates provides an ideal testing ground for our hypothesis. We find that speaking the language of a country increases the likelihood to migrate to that country almost fivefold.
Subjects: 
migration
language proficiency
return to skills
education
JEL: 
J61
I20
F22
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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