Gender, Job Searching, and Employment Outcomes among Mexican Immigrants
Past quantitative research has typically disregarded the effect of gender on the relationship between social capital and immigrant adaptation. However, recent theory and qualitative evidence suggest that gender is a significant factor moderating this association. I use Mexican Migration Project (MMP) data regarding Mexican immigrant experiences in the U.S. to examine quantitatively how the process of job searching, and the effects of network-based job searching, vary by gender. Results show no evidence of overall sex differences in the likelihood of using network (i.e., family-based or friend-based) or individual (i.e., non-network) job search methods, but there are sex differences in the processes affecting job search method used. Settlement increases women’s use of their friend networks to obtain work, while for men, it decreases the use of networks of any kind. Contrary to conventional wisdom, women who use network-based job searches are less likely to obtain formal sector employment than women who find work without network assistance. Conversely, using network-based job searches increases the likelihood that men will find work in the formal sector. Since employment in the formal sector is correlated with wages, as well as nonwage benefits, this suggests that using networks in the job search has markedly different effects on the overall economic well-being of male and female Mexican immigrants in the U.S. Copyright Springer 2006
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