Labour, social and health outcomes of immigrants in Australia : effects of language proficiency using the IV approach

Tam, King Wa (2012) Labour, social and health outcomes of immigrants in Australia : effects of language proficiency using the IV approach. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Language has been of interest to numerous economists since the late 20th century, with the majority of the studies focusing on its effects on immigrants’ labour market outcomes; earnings in particular. However, language is an endogenous variable, which along with its susceptibility to measurement error causes biases in ordinary-least-squares estimates. The instrumental variables method overcomes the shortcomings of ordinary least squares in modelling endogenous explanatory variables. In this dissertation, age at arrival combined with country of origin form an instrument creating a difference-in-difference scenario, to address the issue of endogeneity and attenuation error in language proficiency. The first half of the study aims to investigate the extent to which English speaking ability of immigrants improves their labour market outcomes and social assimilation in Australia, with the use of the 2006 Census. The findings have provided evidence that support the earlier studies. As expected, immigrants in Australia with better language proficiency are able to earn higher income, attain higher level of education, have higher probability of completing tertiary studies, and have more hours of work per week. Language proficiency also improves social integration, leading to higher probability of marriage to a native and higher probability of obtaining citizenship. The second half of the study further investigates whether language proficiency has similar effects on a migrant’s physical and mental wellbeing, health care access and lifestyle choices, with the use of three National Health Surveys. However, only limited evidence has been found with respect to the hypothesised causal relationship between language and health for Australian immigrants.

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ID Code: 60256
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Page, Lionel & Hurn, Stan
Keywords: english speaking ability, childhood immigrants, age at arrival, log personal weekly income, employment, hours of work, marriage to a native, citizenship status, years of education, self-assessed health, Kessler 10, health care access, health-related lifestyle choices
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 May 2013 06:13
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2015 01:01

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