Male Migration and Female Labor Force Participation: New Evidence from the Mexican Family Life Survey

27 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2013 Last revised: 30 Oct 2013

See all articles by Qing Wang

Qing Wang

Peking University HSBC Business School

Date Written: October 30, 2013

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of male migration to the U.S. on female labor market outcomes in Mexico. To understand intrahoushold bargaining and labor reallocation, I restrict my attention to wives left behind by male migrants. This paper differentiates among domestic migration, cross-border migration, and other types of absence, accounting for their differential effects. The nonmigration absence of the husband tends to increase female labor supply in almost all types of income-generating activities. In contrast, women from migrant-sending families are more likely to participate in unpaid work, but less likely to participate in paid work. Similar findings hold for work hours. The overrepresentation of females in unpaid work associated with male migration may threaten the economic wellbeing of women if it leads to weaker labor market attachment and less bargaining power within the family.

Keywords: migration, gender, labor force participation, labor supply

JEL Classification: J16, J22, J61

Suggested Citation

Wang, Qing, Male Migration and Female Labor Force Participation: New Evidence from the Mexican Family Life Survey (October 30, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2232117 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2232117

Qing Wang (Contact Author)

Peking University HSBC Business School ( email )

PHBS Building, Xili University Town
Nanshan District
Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055
China

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