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Linguistic Fragmentation at the Micro-Level: Economic Returns to Speaking the Right Language(s) in a Multilinguistic Society

Aldashev, Alisher ; Danzer, Alexander M.


This paper investigates the economic returns to language skills and bilingualism in Kazakhstan, a multi-ethnic country that started switching its official state language from Russian to Kazakh in 1997. Using newly assembled data for four major cities in 1996 and 2010, we find heterogenous wage premia and penalties for speaking Kazakh across cities and over time. We relate the wage patterns to (i) ...


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