Working Paper

Immigrant language barriers and house prices


Abstract: Are language skills important in explaining the nexus between house prices and immigrant inflows? The language barrier hypothesis says immigrants from a non common language country value amenities more than immigrants from common language countries.> ; In turn, immigrants from non common language countries are less price sensitive to house price changes than immigrants from a common language country. Tests of the language barrier hypothesis with Swiss house prices show that an immigration inflow from a non common language country equal to 1 percent of an area's population is coincident with an increase in prices for single-family homes of about 4.9 percent. Immigrant inflow from a common language country instead has no statistically significant impact.

JEL Classification: R21; J61; F22;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Part of Series: Globalization Institute Working Papers

Publication Date: 2011

Number: 97

Pages: 32 pages

Note: Published as: Fischer, Andreas M. (2012), "Immigrant Language Barriers and House Prices," Regional Science and Urban Economics 42 (3): 389-395.