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Gender, Source Country Characteristics and Labor Market Assimilation Among Immigrants: 1980-2000

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  • Francine D. Blau
  • Lawrence M. Kahn
  • Kerry L. Papps

Abstract

We use 1980, 1990 and 2000 Census data to study the impact of source country characteristics on the labor supply assimilation profiles of married adult immigrant women and men. Women migrating from countries where women have high relative labor force participation rates work substantially more than women coming from countries with lower relative female labor supply rates, and this gap is roughly constant with time in the United States. These differences are substantial and hold up even when we control for wage offers and family formation decisions, as well as when we control for the emigration rate from the United States to the source country. Men's labor supply assimilation profiles are unaffected by source country female labor supply, a result that suggests that the female findings reflect notions of gender roles rather than overall work orientation. Findings for another indicator of traditional gender roles, source country fertility rates, are broadly similar, with substantial and persistent negative effects of source country fertility on the labor supply of female immigrants except when we control for presence of children, in which case the negative effects only become evident after ten years in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Kerry L. Papps, 2008. "Gender, Source Country Characteristics and Labor Market Assimilation Among Immigrants: 1980-2000," NBER Working Papers 14387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14387
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    19. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael S. Rendall & Flavia Tsang & Jennifer K. Rubin & Lila Rabinovich & Barbara Janta, 2010. "Contrasting Trajectories of Labor-Market Integration Between Migrant Women in Western and Southern Europe [Trajectoires d’intégration des immigrées sur le marché du travail: une comparaison entre l," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 26(4), pages 383-410, November.
    2. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2013. "The Feasibility and Importance of Adding Measures of Actual Experience to Cross-Sectional Data Collection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages 17-58.
    3. Marianne Tønnessen, 2020. "Declined Total Fertility Rate Among Immigrants and the Role of Newly Arrived Women in Norway," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 36(3), pages 547-573, July.
    4. Mary Lopez & Fernando Antonio Lozano, 2009. "The Labor Supply of Immigrants in the United States: The Role of Changing Source Country Characteristics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 35-40, May.
    5. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 2012. "Negative and Positive Assimilation, Skill Transferability, and Linguistic Distance," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 35-55.
    6. Francine Blau & Lawrence Kahn & Albert Liu & Kerry Papps, 2013. "The transmission of women’s fertility, human capital, and work orientation across immigrant generations," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 405-435, April.
    7. Bratsberg, Bernt & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Røed, Knut, 2011. "Educating Children of Immigrants: Closing the Gap in Norwegian Schools," IZA Discussion Papers 6138, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 2011. "Substitution Between Individual and Cultural Capital: Pre-Migration Labor Supply, Culture and US Labor Market Outcomes Among Immigrant Woman," IZA Discussion Papers 5890, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Jonathan A. Schwabish, 2009. "Identifying Rates of Emigration in the United States Using Administrative Earnings Records: Working Paper 2009-01," Working Papers 20516, Congressional Budget Office.
    10. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Steven Stillman, 2008. "Emigration and the Age Profile of Retirement Among Immigrants," RF Berlin - CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0815, Rockwool Foundation Berlin (RF Berlin) - Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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