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Gender and Ethnicity-Married immigrants in Britain

  • Christian Dustmann

    ()

    (Department of Economics and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), University College London)

  • Francesca Fabbri

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Munich)

In this paper we investigate economic activity of female immigrants and their husbands in Britain. We distinguish between two immigrant groups: foreign born females who belong to an ethnic minority group and their husbands, and foreign born females who are white and their husbands. We compare these to native born white women and their husbands. Our analysis deviates from the usual mean analysis and investigates employment, hours worked and earnings for males and females, as well as their combined family earnings, along the distribution of husbands' economic potential. We analyse the extent to which economic disadvantage may be reinforced on the household level. We investigate to what extent disadvantage can be explained by differences in observable characteristics. We analyse employment assimilation for all groups over the migration cycle. Our main results are that white female immigrants and their husbands are quite successful, with an overall advantage in earnings over white native born both individually and at the household level. On the other hand, minority immigrants and their husbands are less successful, in particular at the lower end of the husband's distribution of economic potential. This is mainly due to low employment of both genders, which leads to disadvantage in earnings, intensified at the household level. Only part of this differential can be explained by observable characteristics. Over the migration cycle, the data suggests that employment differentials are large at entry for white immigrant females, and even larger for minority females, but the gap to the native born closes. Assimilation is more rapid for white females.

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Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 0502.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0502
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  1. Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000. "Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 156, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Thomas Crossley, 2001. "Gender, Comparative Advantage and Labour Market Activity in Immigrant Families," CEPR Discussion Papers 433, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  3. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Joan Y. Moriarty & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: Evidence from the United States," NBER Working Papers 9051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lillard, Lee & Smith, James P & Welch, Finis, 1986. "What Do We Really Know about Wages? The Importance of Nonreporting and Census Imputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 489-506, June.
  5. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  6. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1997. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 705-27, September.
  7. 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.
  8. Andrew Dilnot & Michael Kell, 1987. "Male unemployment and women's work," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 8(3), pages 1-16, August.
  9. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
  10. Long, James E, 1980. "The Effect of Americanization on Earnings: Some Evidence for Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 620-29, June.
  11. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A, 1993. "Immigrant Selectivity and Wages: The Evidence for Women," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 986-93, September.
  12. Robert F. Schoeni, 1998. "Labor market assimilation of immigrant women," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(3), pages 483-504, April.
  13. Barry T. Hirsch & Edward J. Schumacher, 2004. "Match Bias in Wage Gap Estimates Due to Earnings Imputation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 689-722, July.
  14. Dustmann, Christian & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2000. "The Wage Performance of Immigrant Women: Full-Time Jobs, Part-Time Jobs, and the Role of Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 233, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Joan Y. Moriarty & Andre Portela Souza, 2003. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 429-447, March.
  16. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M, 1997. "Wage Inequality and Family Labor Supply," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 72-97, January.
  17. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2005. "Immigrants in the British labour market," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(4), pages 423-470, December.
  18. Gregg, Paul & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2001. " Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Measuring Worklessness and Polarization at the Household Level but Were Afraid to Ask," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(0), pages 777-806, Special I.
  19. Marco Manacorda, 2004. "Can the Scala Mobile Explain the Fall and Rise of Earnings Inequality in Italy? A Semiparametric Analysis, 19771993," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 585-614, July.
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