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Skills or culture? An analysis of the decision to work by immigrant women in Italy

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  • Antonio Accetturo

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Luigi Infante

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

Activity and employment rates for immigrant women in many industrialized countries display a great variability across national groups. The aim of this paper is to assess whether this well-known fact is due to a voluntary decision (i.e. large reservation wages by the immigrants) or to an involuntary process in that the labour market evaluation of their skills is low. This is done by estimating the reservation wages for each individual in the dataset. Our results show that low activity and employment rates for certain national groups are not associated with high reservation wages. This implies that low participation should not be interpreted as a voluntary decision.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 815.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_815_11

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Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it
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Keywords: Reservation wages; female labour supply; cross-national differences;

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References

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  1. Antonio Accetturo & Luigi Infante, 2010. "Immigrant Earnings in the Italian Labour Market," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 69(1), pages 1-28, April.
  2. Paolo Sestito & Eliana Viviano, 2011. "Reservation Wages: Explaining Some Puzzling Regional Patterns," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 25(1), pages 63-88, 03.
  3. Kiefer, Nicholas M & Neumann, George R, 1979. "An Empirical Job-Search Model, with a Test of the Constant Reservation-Wage Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 89-107, February.
  4. Heineck, Guido, 2004. "Does religion influence the labor supply of married women in Germany?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 307-328, July.
  5. Amelie Constant & Douglas S. Massey, 2003. "Self-selection, earnings, and out-migration: A longitudinal study of immigrants to Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 631-653, November.
  6. John T. Addison & Mário Centeno & Pedro Portugal, 2008. "Unemployment Benefits and Reservation Wages: Key Elasticities from a Stripped-Down Job Search Approach," Working Papers w200803, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  7. Addison, John T. & Centeno, Mario & Portugal, Pedro, 2004. "Reservation Wages, Search Duration, and Accepted Wages in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1252, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  9. Marianne A. Ferber & Carole A. Green, 1985. "Homemakers' Imputed Wages: Results of the Heckman Technique Compared with Women's Own Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(1), pages 90-99.
  10. Bevelander, Pieter & Groeneveld, Sandra, 2007. "How Many Hours Do You Have to Work to Be Integrated? Full Time and Part Time Employment of Native and Ethnic Minority Women in the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 2684, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Niesing, Willem & van Praag, Bernard M. S. & Veenman, Justus, 1994. "The unemployment of ethnic minority groups in the Netherlands," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 173-196, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Barone, Guglielmo & Mocetti, Sauro, 2011. "With a little help from abroad: The effect of low-skilled immigration on the female labour supply," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 664-675, October.

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