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Labour Markets Workshops

Migration, Language, and Employment

Dominik Hangartner (LSE (Methodology Institute))


Tuesday 23 February 2016 12:55 - 14:00

32L 2.04, 2nd Floor Conference Room, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH

About this event

We estimate the economic gains from proficiency of the host country's language using administrative data on the universe of African migrants that applied for asylum in Switzerland between 1998 and 2015. To isolate the causal effect of linguistic proficiency on a variety of labor market outcomes, we exploit the quasi-random placement of refugees to Swiss states (cantons) and the existence of a sharp language border dividing German and French-speaking areas. Employing a difference-in-difference estimator, we examine refugees from French-speaking African countries and compute the covariate adjusted changes in the employment outcomes between those that have been assigned to a canton in the French language region versus those assigned to the German language region, and compare that difference to the covariate adjusted change in employment outcomes between refugees from English-speaking African countries. Our main results suggest an increase in the probability of finding employment of 160% in the first year after arrival, and more than 100% for the following five years, but little effect on the type of job obtained

This event will take place in 32L 2.04, 2nd Floor Conference Room, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH.

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This series is part of the CEP's Labour Markets programme.