The Economic Returns to the Knowledge and Use of a Second Official Language: English in Quebec and French in the Rest-of-Canada

Type of resource
Authors/collaborators
Title
The Economic Returns to the Knowledge and Use of a Second Official Language: English in Quebec and French in the Rest-of-Canada
Abstract
The authors investigate the need for acquiring French or English as a second language in Quebec and the Rest-of-Canada (ROC), and whether the need generates a demand for bilingualism and investment in the acquisition of a second official language. They point out that knowledge of an additional language should be associated with enhanced earnings because it may reflect what might generically be called 'ability' bias or because it may actually be useful at the workplace. Until now, available data did not indicate whether bilingualism was actually being used at work. However, the 2001 Census reports, for the first time, whether an individual is bilingual and the extent to which this skill is actually used at work. The authors indicate that conditioning on both knowledge and use allows researchers to measure the additional earnings which accrue to the use of a second language more cleanly. The authors found a very substantial, statistically significant, rewards to second official language use in Quebec and much smaller, not statistically significant, effects in the ROC.
Publication
Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de politiques
Volume
Vol. 36
Issue
no. 2
Pages
137-158
Date
2010
Language
en
URL
Citation
Christofides, Louis N., and Robert Swidinsky. “The Economic Returns to the Knowledge and Use of a Second Official Language: English in Quebec and French in the Rest-of-Canada.” Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de politiques Vol. 36, no. 2 (2010): 137–158. http://papers.econ.ucy.ac.cy/repec/papers/04-10.pdf.
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