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Female migration: A way out of discrimination?

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  • Ruyssen, Ilse
  • Salomone, Sara

Abstract

In light of the recent feminization of migration, we empirically explore to what extent worldwide female migration can be explained by perceived gender discrimination. Making use of unique individual level data, we track women's intention and preparation to migrate from 148 countries between 2009–2013 and disentangle how individual perceptions of gender discrimination can foster or impede female migration across countries. We perform extensive robustness checks to mitigate concerns about potential threats to identification posed by measurement error and unobservables. Our evidence indicates that women who do not feel treated with respect and dignity have a higher incentive to migrate abroad. The likelihood that these migration intentions are turned into actual preparations, however, depends on more traditional determinants such as household income, network effects and family obligations. Furthermore, we also show that more intense gender imbalances in economic and political opportunities prevent women from actually moving abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruyssen, Ilse & Salomone, Sara, 2018. "Female migration: A way out of discrimination?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 224-241.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:130:y:2018:i:c:p:224-241
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2017.10.010
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    2. Frédéric Docquier & Aysit Tansel & Riccardo Turati, 2017. "Do Emigrants Self-Select Along Cultural Traits? Evidence from the MENA Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 6777, CESifo.
    3. Michel Beine & Michel Bierlaire & Frédéric Docquier, 2020. "New York, Abu Dhabi, London or Stay at Home? Using a Cross-Nested Logit Model to Identify Complex Substitution Patterns in Migration," LISER Working Paper Series 2021-01, LISER.
    4. Schmid, Lena & Renner, Laura, 2020. "The Decision to Flee: Analyzing Gender-Specific Determinants of International Refugee Migration," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224596, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Chabé-Ferret, Bastien & Machado, Joël & Wahba, Jackline, 2018. "Remigration intentions and migrants' behavior," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 56-72.
    6. Nadiya Ukrayinchuk & Olena Havrylchyk, 2020. "Living in limbo: Economic and social costs for refugees," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1523-1551, November.
    7. Riccardo Turati, 2020. "Network-based Connectedness and the Diffusion of Cultural Traits," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    8. Chabé-Ferret, Bastien & Machado, Joël & Wahba, Jackline, 2018. "Remigration intentions and migrants' behavior," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 56-72.
    9. Simone BERTOLI & Frédéric DOCQUIER & Hillel RAPOPORT & Ilse RUYSSEN, 2019. "Weather shocks and migration intentions in Western Africa: Insights from a multilevel analysis," Working Paper c5999d24-4da2-42c5-8c94-e, Agence française de développement.
    10. Manchin, Miriam & Orazbayev, Sultan, 2018. "Social networks and the intention to migrate," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 360-374.
    11. Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Arthur Silve, 2020. "Migration and Cultural Change," Working Papers 2020-10, CEPII research center.
    12. Xiaomei Fan & Hongguang Liu & Zimeng Zhang & Jie Zhang, 2018. "The Spatio-Temporal Characteristics and Modeling Research of Inter-Provincial Migration in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(3), pages 1-14, February.
    13. Smith, Michael D. & Floro, Maria S., 2020. "Food insecurity, gender, and international migration in low- and middle-income countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    14. Lee, Tae Hoon & Peri, Giovanni & Viarengo, Martina, 2020. "The Gender Aspect of Immigrants' Assimilation in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 13922, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Docquier, Frédéric & Tansel, Aysit & Turati, Riccardo, 2017. "Do emigrants self-select along cultural traits? Evidence from the MENA countries," MPRA Paper 82778, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Riccardo Turati, 2021. "Do you want to migrate to the United States? Migration intentions and Cultural Traits in Latin America," Working Papers wpdea2101, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    17. Frédéric Docquier & Aysıt Tansel & Riccardo Turati, 2017. "Do emigrants self-select along cultural traits? Evidence from the MENA Countries," ERC Working Papers 1713, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Nov 2017.
    18. Michel Beine & Joël Machado & Ilse Ruyssen, 2020. "Do potential migrants internalize migrant rights in OECD host societies?," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1429-1456, November.
    19. Elveren, Adem Yavuz & Toksöz, Gülay, 2017. "Why Don’t Highly Skilled Women Want to Return? Turkey’s Brain Drain from a Gender Perspective," MPRA Paper 80290, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Female migration; Gender discrimination; Migration intentions; Selection model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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