Wednesday, 10 July 2019

The Intergenerational Effects of Language Proficiency on Child Health Outcomes

Presentation by Johannes Kunz (Monash University)


Language proficiency is a crucial skill for immigrants that influences their social integration and  their children's development. This study examines the intergenerational effects of limited English proficiency (LEP) on children's health and health care utilisation. We use 10 years of Australian administrative health care records linked to survey data, and a structural break in language acquisition, based on the parent's age at arrival into Australia. We find that parental LEP has a strong and positive effect on children's health care costs, but no effect on their physical or mental health. A lack of parent social networks is a plausible explanation.