Cultural Values and Decision to Work of Immigrant Women in Italy

24 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2014

See all articles by Vincenzo Scoppa

Vincenzo Scoppa

Università degli Studi della Calabria - Department of Economics and Statistics

Manuela Stranges

Università degli Studi della Calabria

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Abstract

We investigate the role of culture in explaining economic outcomes at individual level analyzing how cultural values from the home country affect the decision to work of immigrants in Italy, using the National Survey of Households with Immigrants. Following the “epidemiological approach”, we relate the probability of being employed in Italy for immigrant women with the female labor force participation (LFP) in their country of origin, taken as a proxy of cultural heritage and gender role model. Controlling for a number of individual and household characteristics, we show that participation in the labor market is affected both by the culture of females' and by their husband's origin countries. We also show that the relationship between own decisions in the host country and home country LFP cannot be attributed to human capital quality or discrimination and it turns out to be stronger for immigrants that maintained more intense ties with their origin countries. Finally, we investigate to what extent cultural influence is driven by religious beliefs: we find that religion is a key determinant of differences in female labor decisions, but, besides religion, other cultural values exert additional influence.

Keywords: culture, immigration, labor force participation, epidemiological approach, gender, Italy

JEL Classification: Z10, Z13, J10, J15, J16, J20

Suggested Citation

Scoppa, Vincenzo and Stranges, Manuela, Cultural Values and Decision to Work of Immigrant Women in Italy. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8522. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2508577

Vincenzo Scoppa (Contact Author)

Università degli Studi della Calabria - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

via Ponte Bucci
Arcavacata di Rende, Cosenza 87036
Italy

Manuela Stranges

Università degli Studi della Calabria ( email )

Ponte Bucci, Cubo 3C
Rende, Cosenza 87036
Italy

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