Determinants of English proficiency among Mexican migrants to the United States

Kristin E. Espinosa, Douglas S. Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


We replicate prior research into the determinants of English language proficiency among immigrants using a dataset that controls for potential biases stemming from selective emigration, omitted variables, and the mismeasurement of key constructs. In general, we reproduce the results of earlier work, leading us to conclude that despite inherent methodological problems, research based on cross-sectional censuses and surveys yields fundamentally accurate conclusions. In particular, we find unambiguous evidence that English proficiency rises with exposure to U.S. society, and we reaffirm earlier work showing a clear pattern of language assimilation among Mexican migrants to the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-50
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Migration Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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