Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Economics of Language Policy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michele Gazzola and Bengt-Arne Wickström

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034708

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034708.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 25 February 2021

English as the Lingua franca and the Economic Value of Other Languages: The Case of the Language of Work in the Montreal Labor Market

English as the Lingua franca and the Economic Value of Other Languages: The Case of the Language of Work in the Montreal Labor Market

Chapter:
(p.267) 8 English as the Lingua franca and the Economic Value of Other Languages: The Case of the Language of Work in the Montreal Labor Market
Source:
The Economics of Language Policy
Author(s):

Gilles Grenier

Serge Nadeau

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262034708.003.0009

An important feature of Canada is that it has two official languages, English and French, and that one of them, English, is also the international lingua franca. This situation may have particular policy implications. Within Canada, the Montreal metropolitan area presents an interesting case in point: it has a majority of native French speakers, an important minority of native English speakers, and many immigrants from various linguistic backgrounds who try to make their way into the labor market. Using confidential micro-data from the 2006 Canadian Census, this chapter investigates the determinants and the economic values of the use of different languages at work in Montreal. Workers are divided into three groups: French, English and Other mother tongues, and indices are defined for the use of French, English, and Other languages at work. It is found that the use of English at work by non-English native speakers is positively related to the education level of the workers, while there is no such relationship for the use of French by native English speakers. The returns to using at work a language that is different from one’s mother tongue are analyzed with ordinary least squares and instrumental variables regressions. For the English mother tongue group, using French at work has little or no reward, while using English at work pays a lot for the French mother tongue group. For the Other mother tongues group, there is a high payoff to using an official language at work, especially English. This situation is not due to the inferior economic status of the native French speakers; it is due to the fact that English is the international lingua franca. The policy implications of the above results are discussed.

Keywords:   Language of work, Mother tongue, Immigrants, Montreal, Canada, Earnings

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.