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Linguistic Diversity, Unemployment and Schooling: Empirical Evidence from the East-Asian Countries

Alexandre Repkine 1 송승훈 1

1건국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

We explore both direct and indirect effects of linguistic diversity may produce on the labor market outcomes, in particular unemployment. For this purpose we use a measure of linguistic diversity that takes account of the languages’ mutual intelligibility with a sample of seventeen East and South Asian countries to test the hypotheses of skill complementarity, ethnocentric behavior, social cohesion, and political aspirations. The latter two hypotheses correspond to the indirect effects of linguistic diversity on unemployment working through the educational system that encourages social integration of the minority language groups on the one hand, while increasing the risk of social conflict due to the ethnolinguistic differences. We find significant support for the hypotheses of ethnocentric behavior and political aspirations with the exception of primary school graduates for whom there is evidence of skill complementarities effect at work.

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