Can minority language proficiency pay: a study on the return on English-Spanish fluent bilingualism in South Florida
Master of Science (MS)
Global and Sociocultural Studies
First Advisor's Name
Walter Gillis Peacock
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Name
Date of Defense
This thesis studies the economic return for fluent-bilingualism in South Florida among native-born whites using IPUMS (Integrated Public Use Microdata Series) data for Miami-Dade County (1990). Previous mainstream-oriented theories focus on the benefit in English acquisition for immigrants and their descendants, either denying or ignoring the possible benefit of minority language retention in addition to English acquisition. An alternative literature, on the other hand, suggests that minority language retention can be beneficial in at least three areas: 1) enhancing cognitive ability; 2) accessing community-level social capital; and 3) serving as human capital. This study assesses economic returns in employment and earnings, using logistic and OLS (Ordinary Least Square) regression respectively. The results, countering the mainstream-oriented theories, suggest that fluent bilingualism does have economic consequences. Rather than fully supporting the positive effects thesis, the patterns shown are much more complicated, contingent on an individual's ethnic membership and educational level. Theoretical and substantive implications are discussed and suggestions for future research are made.
Ai, Hua, "Can minority language proficiency pay: a study on the return on English-Spanish fluent bilingualism in South Florida" (1999). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1089.
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