Labor Income and French-English Bilingualism in the Two Major Ethnolinguistic Groups in the Montreal Metropolitan Census Area : 1970-1995

Nicolas Béland, Office Québécois de la Langue Française, Gouvernement du Québec

Using census data, we examines the evolution of the links between wages and French-English Bilingualism in Montreal. Subjects are Canadian born males, whose first language is French or English and are still speaking this language at home. They are 25 to 54 y.o, and gainfully employed. Such a population constitutes a test case for the study of changes in inequalities between Francophones and Anglophones in Canada. Econometric studies in the 60’s, using data on these groups, identified extensive income inequalities favoring English-Canadians over French Canadians. After controlling for the effects of relevant exogenous variables, three trends were observed in the current study. The first trend is the disappearance, between 1970-1980, of an historical link between ethnicity, language and wages. The second is the appearance, again between 1970-1980, of a premium to French-English bilinguals irrespective of their first language. This third is the stability of this new pattern, from 1980 onwards.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Education, Gender, Religion, Language and Culture