Immigration, Family Responsibilities and the Labor Supply of Skilled Native Women

50 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2009

See all articles by Lidia Farré

Lidia Farré

Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) - Institute for Economic Analysis; Universidad de Alicante

Libertad Gonzalez

Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Francesc Ortega

City University of New York, CUNY Queens College - Department of Economics ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of Spain's large recent immigration wave on the labor supply of highly skilled native women. We hypothesize that female immigration led to an increase in the supply of affordable household services, such as housekeeping and child or elderly care. As a result, i) native females with high earnings potential were able to increase their labor supply, and ii) the effects were larger on skilled women whose labor supply was heavily constrained by family responsibilities. Our evidence indicates that over the last decade immigration led to an important expansion in the size of the household services sector and to an increase in the labor supply of women in high-earning occupations (of about 2 hours per week). We also find that immigration allowed skilled native women to return to work sooner after childbirth, to stay in the workforce longer when having elderly dependents in the household, and to postpone retirement. Methodologically, we show that the availability of even limited Registry data makes it feasible to conduct the analysis using quarterly household survey data, as opposed to having to rely on the decennial Census.

Keywords: immigration, labor supply, fertility, retirement, household services

JEL Classification: J61, J22, J13

Suggested Citation

Farré, Lidia and Gonzalez, Libertad and Ortega, Francesc, Immigration, Family Responsibilities and the Labor Supply of Skilled Native Women. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4265, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1434579

Lidia Farré (Contact Author)

Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) - Institute for Economic Analysis ( email )

UAB Campus
E-08193 Bellaterra
Spain

Universidad de Alicante ( email )

Campus de San Vicente
Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig
San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante 03690
Spain

Libertad Gonzalez

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE)

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005
Spain

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Francesc Ortega

City University of New York, CUNY Queens College - Department of Economics ( email )

65-30 Kissena Blvd
Flushing, NY 11367-1597
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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