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The Role of Source- and Host-Country Characteristics in Female Immigrant Labor Supply

Bredtmann, Julia and Otten, Sebastian (2013): The Role of Source- and Host-Country Characteristics in Female Immigrant Labor Supply.

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Abstract

Using data from the European Social Survey 2002-2011 covering immigrants in 26 European countries, this paper analyzes the impact of source- and host-country characteristics on female immigrant labor supply. We find that immigrant women’s labor supply in their host country is positively associated with the labor force participation rate in their source country, which serves as a proxy for the country’s preferences and beliefs regarding women’s roles. The effect of this cultural proxy on the labor supply of immigrant women is robust to controlling for spousal, parental, and a variety of source-country characteristics. This result suggests that the culture and norms of their source country play an important role for immigrant women’s labor supply. Moreover, we find evidence for a strong positive correlation between the host-country female labor force participation rate and female immigrant labor supply, suggesting that immigrant women assimilate to the work behavior of natives.

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