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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Say it like Goethe: Language learning facilities abroad and the self-selection of immigrants

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Abstract

"Immigration policy in most high-income countries is designed to promote qualified migration while maintaining high requirements on characteristics such as education and language skills. We rely on a standard self-selection model with heterogeneous migration costs to discuss the effect of access to language learning services in the country of origin on the skill composition of immigrants in Germany. Using individual-level survey data on immigrants from different cohorts over the period 2000 - 2014, combined with unique data on the presence of Goethe Institutes - a German association promoting German language and culture worldwide - in origin countries, the results of our empirical analysis show that the acquisition of the German language is fostered by the availability of language courses abroad. Moreover, we find that language services abroad induce a positive (self-)selection of migrants along several dimensions, such as education, experience, and the probability of holding a job offer at arrival. These characteristics are in turn highly relevant for long- term integration in Germany. To disentangle transmission channels, we perform a causal mediation analysis. We find that 25 % of the total effect of language services abroad on language skills at immigration trace back directly to migrants' participation in language courses, revealing important spillover effects." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

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Bibliographical information

Jaschke, Philipp; Keita, Sekou (2019): Say it like Goethe: Language learning facilities abroad and the self-selection of immigrants. (IAB-Discussion Paper, 14/2019), N├╝rnberg, 41 p.
 

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