No Entiendo: The Effects of Bilingualism on Hispanic Earnings

Cortina, Jerónimo; de la Garza, Rodolfo; Pinto, Pablo M.

This paper examines the economic consequences of bilingualism. Specifically, we explore whether the ability to effectively communicate in English and Spanish is rewarded in labor markets. Using a sample of the Hispanic population drawn from U.S. census data for the year 2000 we find that controlling for education, gender, age, place of birth, sector and region of employment, bilingualism has a substantively small positive relation with higher income. However, our results also show that bilingualism is negatively correlated with wage-based income among different occupational categories and sectors, but particularly among managers and those employed in the public sector.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy
Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University
ISERP Working Papers, 07-03
Published Here
August 16, 2010


February 2007.