Can I Have Permission to Leave the House? Return Migration and the Transfer of Gender Norms

47 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2015

See all articles by Michele Tuccio

Michele Tuccio

University of Southampton

Jackline Wahba

University of Southampton, Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Does international return migration transfer gender norms? Focusing on Jordan, an Arab country where discrimination against women and emigration rates are high, this paper exploits unique data in which detailed information on female empowerment allows us to construct several measures of discriminatory social norms in Jordan on the role of women, female freedom of mobility, and female decision-making power.Controlling for both emigration and return migration selections, we find that women with a returnee family member are more likely to have internalized discriminatory gender norms than women in households with no migration experience. Further analysis shows that results are driven by returnees from conservative Arab countries, suggesting a transfer of negative norms from highly discriminatory destinations. We also show the implications of our results beyond perceptions for several economic and development outcomes, such as female labour force participation, education and fertility.

Keywords: international return migration, gender inequality, transfer of norms

JEL Classification: F22, J16, O15, O53

Suggested Citation

Tuccio, Michele and Wahba, Jackline, Can I Have Permission to Leave the House? Return Migration and the Transfer of Gender Norms. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9216. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2655237

Michele Tuccio (Contact Author)

University of Southampton ( email )

University Rd.
Southampton SO17 1BJ, SO17 1LP
United Kingdom

Jackline Wahba

University of Southampton, Department of Economics ( email )

Southampton, SO171BJ
United Kingdom
+44 23 8059 3996 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/jackiewahba/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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