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Return migration and the transfer of gender norms: Evidence from the Middle East

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  • Tuccio, Michele
  • Wahba, Jackline

Abstract

Does international return migration transfer gender norms? Focusing on Jordan, an Arab country where gender inequality and emigration rates are high, this paper exploits unique data in which detailed information on female empowerment allows us to construct several measures of social norms in Jordan on the role of women, female freedom of mobility, and female decision-making power. Controlling for both emigration and return migration selections, we find that women with a returnee family member are more likely to bear traditional gender norms than women in households with no migration experience. Further analysis shows that results are driven by returnees from more conservative Arab countries, suggesting a transfer of conservative norms from destinations with highly traditional gender roles. We also show the implications of our results beyond perceptions for several economic and development outcomes, such as female labour force participation, education and fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Tuccio, Michele & Wahba, Jackline, 2018. "Return migration and the transfer of gender norms: Evidence from the Middle East," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 1006-1029.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:4:p:1006-1029
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2018.07.015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tuccio, Michele & Wahba, Jackline & Hamdouch, Bachir, 2016. "International Migration: Driver of Political and Social Change?," IZA Discussion Papers 9794, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. repec:spr:jopoec:v:32:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s00148-019-00734-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jackline Wahba & Ishac Diwan & Michele Tuccio, 2017. "Diaspora Networks as a Bridge between Civilizations," Working Papers 1094, Economic Research Forum, revised 05 Nov 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International return migration; Gender inequality; Transfer of norms;

    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
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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