The language of health and wealth
What impact does a person's proficiency in English as a second language have on their health and economic integration when they settle in the U.S.? That's the issue addressed in new research published in the International Journal of Economics and Business Research.
Ibrahim Niankara of the College of Business at Al Ain University in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates has used the statistical technique of Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) estimation to analyze annual earnings and medical care spending for a representative sample of data on immigrant families from the US National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS). There is, the research suggests, a negative correlation, as one might expect. Among immigrants, increased English language proficiency improves earnings propensity and reduces medical care spending.
Niankara points out that according to the United Nation's International Organization for Migration, the number of refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people across various regions of the world has increased dramatically in recent years. Numbers are in the hundreds of millions and rising with each passing year. He suggests that "policies aimed at raising immigrants' families English language proficiency in the U.S. would not only contribute to their effective socio-economic integration but also strengthen the US workforce and economy in the long run."