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American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 3 (May 2011)

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Learn English, Not the Local Language! Ethnic Russians in the Baltic States

Article Citation

Toomet, Ott. 2011. "Learn English, Not the Local Language! Ethnic Russians in the Baltic States." American Economic Review, 101(3): 526-31.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.3.526

Abstract

This paper analyzes the return to dominant language fluency for ethnic Russians in the Baltic States. We look at male workers using Estonian Labor Force Survey for years 2000-2010 and the 1998 wave of a panel of high-school graduates of 1982. The results indicate that the ethnic Russian men enjoy little income premium on their skills of the dominant language. We identify positive returns only in the low end of the income distribution and in public administration sector. Surprisingly, the returns to English fluency are far larger. These outcomes point toward segregation and discrimination at the upper-end hiring.

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Authors

Toomet, Ott (Tartu U)

JEL Classifications

D31: Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
H83: Public Administration; Public Sector Accounting and Audits
I21: Analysis of Education
J15: Economics of Minorities and Races; Non-labor Discrimination
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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