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The impact of language ability on employment and earnings of Britain's ethnic communities

Leslie, Derek and Lindley, Joanne (2001) The impact of language ability on employment and earnings of Britain's ethnic communities. Economica, 68 (272). pp. 587-606. ISSN 0013-0427

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Abstract

The Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities contains useful information about the language ability of Britain's non–whites as well as a wealth of comparative information for whites. The paper attempts to establish how much of the lower unemployment and higher earnings enjoyed by whites is the result of a comparative advantage in language. Language is shown to contribute to a part of the non–white disadvantage, but after language effects are removed non–whites males still have higher unemployment rates and lower earnings. Language disadvantage among non–white females leads to higher inactivity rates rather than more unemployment.

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