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Immigration, family responsibilities and the labor supply of skilled native women

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Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of Spain’s large recent immigration wave on the labor supply of highly skilled native women. We hypothesize that female immigration led to an increase in the supply of affordable household services, such as housekeeping and child or elderly care. As a result, i) native females with high earnings potential were able to increase their labor supply, and ii) the effects were larger on skilled women whose labor supply was heavily constrained by family responsibilities. Our evidence indicates that over the last decade immigration led to an important expansion in the size of the household services sector and to an increase in the labor supply of women in high-earning occupations (of about 2 hours per week). We also find that immigration allowed skilled native women to return to work sooner after childbirth, to stay in the workforce longer when having elderly dependents in the household, and to postpone retirement. Methodologically, we show that the availability of even limited Registry data makes it feasible to conduct the analysis using quarterly household survey data, as opposed to having to rely on the decennial Census.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1161.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1161

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Immigration; Labor supply; Fertility; Retirement; Household services;

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  1. Iñigo Iturbe Ormaetxe & Giovanni Ponti & Josefa Tomás & Luis Ubeda, 2008. "Framing Effects in Public Goods: Prospect Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers. Serie AD 2008-15, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  2. John Laitner & Daniel Silverman, 2006. "Consumption, Retirement, and Social Security: Evaluating the Efficiency of Reform with a Life-Cycle Model," Working Papers wp142, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  3. Laura Crespo, 2006. "Caring For Parents And Employment Status Of European Mid-Life Women," Working Papers wp2006_0615, CEMFI.
  4. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Borjas, George J & Freeman, Richard B & Katz, Lawrence, 1996. "Searching for the Effect of Immigration on the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 246-51, May.
  6. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2010. "Attenuation Bias in Measuring the Wage Impact of Immigration," NBER Working Papers 16229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jiménez-Martín, Sergi & Labeaga, José M. & Martínez Granado, Maite, 1999. "Health status and retirement decisions for older European couples," IRISS Working Paper Series 1999-01, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  8. Patricia Cort�s & Jos� Tessada, 2011. "Low-Skilled Immigration and the Labor Supply of Highly Skilled Women," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 88-123, July.
  9. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Sara de la Rica, 2008. "Complements or Substitutes? Immigrant and Native Task Specialization in Spain," Working Papers 2008-35, FEDEA.
  10. Furtado, Delia & Hock, Heinrich, 2008. "Immigrant Labor, Child-Care Services, and the Work-Fertility Trade-Off in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3506, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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