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Globalization and the Returns to Speaking English in South Africa

Globalization and the Returns to Speaking English in South Africa

Chapter:
(p.629) 15 Globalization and the Returns to Speaking English in South Africa
Source:
Globalization and Poverty
Author(s):
James Levinsohn
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226318004.003.0016

This chapter addresses a different approach to measuring the impact of globalization on incomes in South Africa. South Africa quickly implemented a policy of macroeconomic stabilization to reassure the international financial community. It is shown that the return to speaking English increased for Whites over the period during which South Africa reintegrated with the world economy. There is also less evidence that the return to speaking English increased among Blacks and Coloreds. On the whole, the return to speaking English increased, but within racial groups the pattern is not consistent. Even if language is an accurate way to isolate the impact of globalization on wages, it may simply be that globalization has differing impacts on differing segments of a population.

Keywords:   globalization, incomes, South Africa, speaking English, economy, Whites, Blacks, Coloreds, language

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