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Title:A Comparative Study of Labor Force Participation of Married Native and Immigrant Women
Author(s):Stregevsky, Barry Michael
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Economics, Labor
Abstract:In recent years, studies on immigrants in the labor force have relied heavily on econometric techniques. As a result, our knowledge has increased enormously concerning the wages of immigrant men and women and the transfer payments received by immigrants. Our study adds to this body of knowledge by examining the labor force participation rate of immigrant married women using native women as a reference group. To assess the economic impact of immigrants, it is helpful to know how the characteristics of immigrants and natives differ and whether responses to changes in these variables are significantly different for the two groups. We are particularly interested in determining the impact of the husband's time in the U.S., the wife's time in the U.S., the inability to speak and understand English, and the levels of education and experience on the wife's probability of participation. We examine both the indirect effect (acting through the wage which in turn affects participation rates) as well as the direct effect (influencing the participation rate controlling for the wife's wage) of each of these variables. We employ probit analysis using data from the 1976 Survey of Income and Education.
Chiswick (1978) finds that immigrant men enter the U.S. with lower earnings than native men with similar characteristics, but eventually the earnings of immigrant men catch up to and even surpass the earnings of native men. This implies that the wives of newly arrived immigrant men should have a higher probability of participation than wives of similar native men, but, as time passes, the immigrant/native participation rate differential narrows holding all else equal. Our results support this notion.
We also examine the hypothesis that the probability of participation rises as the wife spends more time in the U.S. all else equal. We find that the extent to which this hypothesis holds is dependent upon what the control variables are. We find that wives who are unable to speak and understand English have a significantly lower participation rate than those that can communicate well. Also immigrant women have lower rates of return to education than natives, implying a lower participation rate ceteris paribus.
Issue Date:1985
Description:129 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8521887
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1985

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