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Labour market entries and exits of women from different origin countries in the UK


  • Yassine Khoudja

    () (Utrecht Univeristy)

  • Lucinda Platt

    () (London School of Economics and Political Science)


In the context of increasing women’s labour force participation (LFP) across Western countries, there remain large differences in LFP for women of different ethnic origins. While existing research has demonstrated that part of these differences can be attributed to compositional differences (age, qualifications, family context etc.) and to differences in gender role attitudes and religiosity, residual ‘ethnic effects’ typically remain. Further insight into the drivers of such differences has the potential to inform us about factors shaping women’s LFP more widely. In this paper we exploit a large-scale longitudinal study of the UK to investigate ethnic differences in both LFP entry and exit probabilities. We examine how far we can account for overall ethnic differences in LFP entry and exit, taking account of individual characteristics, gender role attitudes and religiosity, and the contribution of relevant life-course events. We find that, adjusting for all these factors, Indian and Caribbean women do not differ from White majority women in their labour force entry and exit probabilities but that Pakistani and Bangladeshi women are less likely to enter and more likely to exit the labour market, while Black African women have higher entry rates. We also find that Pakistani and Bangladeshi women’s labour market entries and exits are less sensitive to partnership and child-bearing events than other women’s.

Suggested Citation

  • Yassine Khoudja & Lucinda Platt, 2016. "Labour market entries and exits of women from different origin countries in the UK," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1603, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1603

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mary Jo Bane & David T. Ellwood, 1986. "Slipping into and out of Poverty: The Dynamics of Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-23.
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    3. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
    4. Lídia Farré & Francis Vella, 2013. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Role Attitudes and its Implications for Female Labour Force Participation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(318), pages 219-247, April.
    5. Sung-Hee Jeon, 2008. "The Impact of Lifecycle Events on Women's Labour Force Transitions: A Panel Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages 83-98, September.
    6. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1985. "Cultural Differences in Labor Force Participation among Married Women," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 251-255, May.
    7. Pippa Norris & Ronald F. Inglehart, 2012. "Muslim Integration into Western Cultures: Between Origins and Destinations," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 60(2), pages 228-251, June.
    8. Andreas Georgiadis & Alan Manning, 2011. "Change and continuity among minority communities in Britain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 541-568, April.
    9. Brewer, Mike & Nandi, Alita, 2014. "Partnership dissolution: how does it affect income, employment and well-being?," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-30, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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    ethnic minority women; labour force participation; labour market transitions; life-course events; gender role attitudes;

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