No. 11368: Deprivation, Segregation, and Socioeconomic Class of UK Immigrants

Does English Proficiency Matter?

Yu Aoki, Lualhati Santiago

Research output: Working paper

6 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper studies the causal effect of English proficiency on residential location outcomes and the socioeconomic class of immigrants in England and Wales, exploiting a natural experiment. Based on the phenomenon that young children learn a new language more easily than older children, we construct an instrument for English proficiency using age at arrival in the United Kingdom. Taking advantage of a unique dataset, we measure the extent of residential segregation along different dimensions, and find that poor English skills lead immigrants to live in areas with a high concentration of people who speak their same native language, but not necessarily in areas with a high concentration of people of their same ethnicity or country of birth. This finding could suggest that, for immigrants with poor English proficiency, what matters for their residential location decision is language spoken by residents, as opposed to ethnicity or country of birth. We also find that language skills have an impact on the occupation-based socioeconomic class of immigrants: Poor English skills reduce the likelihood of being in the occupation-based class 'higher managerial and professional' and increase that of being in the class 'self-employment'.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherIZA Discussion Paper
Pages1-35
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Fingerprint

Socio-economics
Immigrants
Segregation
Deprivation
Language
Ethnic groups
Residential location
Natural experiment
Causal effect
Residents
Self-employment
Location decision
Residential segregation
Language skills
Wales
England

Keywords

  • Language Skills
  • Deprivation
  • Residential Segregation
  • Employment Status
  • Occupation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Cite this

No. 11368: Deprivation, Segregation, and Socioeconomic Class of UK Immigrants : Does English Proficiency Matter? / Aoki, Yu; Santiago, Lualhati.

IZA Discussion Paper, 2018. p. 1-35.

Research output: Working paper

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abstract = "This paper studies the causal effect of English proficiency on residential location outcomes and the socioeconomic class of immigrants in England and Wales, exploiting a natural experiment. Based on the phenomenon that young children learn a new language more easily than older children, we construct an instrument for English proficiency using age at arrival in the United Kingdom. Taking advantage of a unique dataset, we measure the extent of residential segregation along different dimensions, and find that poor English skills lead immigrants to live in areas with a high concentration of people who speak their same native language, but not necessarily in areas with a high concentration of people of their same ethnicity or country of birth. This finding could suggest that, for immigrants with poor English proficiency, what matters for their residential location decision is language spoken by residents, as opposed to ethnicity or country of birth. We also find that language skills have an impact on the occupation-based socioeconomic class of immigrants: Poor English skills reduce the likelihood of being in the occupation-based class 'higher managerial and professional' and increase that of being in the class 'self-employment'.",
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