Skills or Culture? An Analysis of the Decision to Work by Immigrant Women in Italy

44 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2011  

Antonio Accetturo

Bank of Italy

Luigi Infante

Bank of Italy

Date Written: July 12, 2011

Abstract

Activity and employment rates for immigrant women in many industrialized countries display a great variability across national groups. The aim of this paper is to assess whether this well-known fact is due to a voluntary decision (i.e. large reservation wages by the immigrants) or to an involuntary process in that the labor market evaluation of their skills is low. This is done by estimating the reservation wages for each individual in the dataset. Our results show that low activity and employment rates for certain national groups are not associated with high reservation wages. This implies that low participation should not be interpreted as a voluntary decision.

Keywords: reservation wages, female labour supply, cross-national differences

JEL Classification: J22, J61, J15

Suggested Citation

Accetturo, Antonio and Infante, Luigi, Skills or Culture? An Analysis of the Decision to Work by Immigrant Women in Italy (July 12, 2011). Bank of Italy Temi di Discussione (Working Paper) No. 815. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1960894 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1960894

Antonio Accetturo

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Luigi Infante (Contact Author)

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

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