Quasi-experimental Evidence in Language Proficiency, Employment and Welfare Dependency
Public policies can influence immigrant’s and refugee’s decision to invest in language training through subsidies and financial incentives. For instance, the public provision of free classes and the provision of additional welfare transfers to individuals who complete a given Danish Language Education level may increase language training take-up1. Although the literature has established that language knowledge is positively correlated with measures of economic success and assimilation, no study has identified the causal effect of language acquisition, as immigrants who sign up to language classes are systematically different from those who don’t sign-up (Frattini,2017; Rinne 2013). The main objective of this project is to determine if the timing of Danish language acquisition affects adult refugees’ dynamic labor market outcomes such as the likelihood of being employed, their earnings trajectories, and their occupation in the short and long run. To do so, we will take advantage of registers that have detailed information on language course starting and finishing dates,attendance, and grade in each training module. This information will be matched to yearly labor market outcomes, monthly wage data, and weekly data on welfare dependency.