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Return migration and the transfer of gender norms: Evidence from the Middle East

Michele Tuccio and Jackline Wahba ()

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2018, vol. 46, issue 4, 1006-1029

Abstract: Does international return migration transfer gender norms? Focusing on Jordan, an Arab country where gender inequality and emigration rates are high, this paper exploits unique data in which detailed information on female empowerment allows us to construct several measures of 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 bear traditional gender norms than women in households with no migration experience. Further analysis shows that results are driven by returnees from more conservative Arab countries, suggesting a transfer of conservative norms from destinations with highly traditional gender roles. 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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 J16 O15 O53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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