FES | Federación Española de Sociología

XII Congreso de la FES

Gender gaps and immigrant differences in labour force participation

GT 6 Desigualdad y Estratificación Social

Albert Arcarons Feixas (European University Institute (EUI))


Sesión de comunicaciones orales Franja 4 : Desigualdades entre inmigrantes y autóctonos
Responsable(s): Lara Navarro Varas (Institut d'Estudis Regionals i Metropolitans de Barcelona-IERMB)
Tipo de sesión: Sesión de comunicaciones orales
Día: viernes, 1 de julio de 2016
Hora: 16:00 a 18:00
Lugar: 103

The role of gender on labour market outcomes is understudied in ethnic stratification research. My aim is to asses to which extent gender gaps in labour force participation (LFP) among the general population generalise to different ethnic origin groups, and whether usual explanations for female labour force participation (FLP) also hold true for women within these groups. Gender and country of origin are strongly associated with LFP. Women tend to participate less than men (gender gap), and immigrant and native-born persons with an immigrant background also present, on average, lower participation rates compared to natives (immigrant penalty). There is however significant variation across ethnic origin groups in different host societies, with some groups participating more, and others less, than natives in the labour force. I use data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) to test different theoretical explanations for FLP including individual-level factors such as human capital, social background, household characteristics, and levels of religiosity and gender role attitudes. I also add couple-level accounts to the explanation such as the relative educational distance within the couple, and the labour market resources and gender role attitudes of the partner/spouse. Results show that compositional differences in individual-level characteristics account across models for a two-thirds reduction of the initially observed participation penalty for Bangladeshi and Pakistani women, but are less successful in explaining the participation premium of Jamaican and African women. Partners/spouses' characteristics add little to the explanation of ethnic-origin differences, although their labour market resources and gender role attitudes contribute on top of individual-level factors. I also test for within ethnic-origin group effects by interacting ethnic categories with the main explanatory variables. Female labour participation is a policy relevant outcome, as it is an indicator of both immigrants’ integration and female emancipation and autonomy.

Palabras clave: Inequality, gender, labour market, immigrants, ethnic origin