August 2002

IZA DP No. 558: Enclaves, Language and the Location Choice of Migrants

published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2005, 18 (4), 649–662

Empirical studies in the migration literature have shown that migration enclaves (networks) negatively affect the language proficiency of migrants. These studies, however, ignore the choice of location as a function of language skills. Using data on Mexican migration to the US, we show that migrants choose smaller networks as their English language proficiency improves.