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Culture and heritage language: a study of female labor force participation

Mahmoud Salari ()
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Mahmoud Salari: California State University Dominguez Hills

Review of Economics of the Household, 2020, vol. 18, issue 2, No 2, 285-306

Abstract: Abstract This study empirically analyzes the role of culture in determining working behaviors of American women whose ancestors/fathers were born outside of the United States. The effect of culture on these women’s working behaviors are studied by using 1970 and 2017 US Census data. Female labor force participation (FLFP) from the woman’s heritage country is defined as a cultural proxy for the working behavior of a second-generation immigrant woman. Cultural proxies are found to be positive and statistically significant for women who kept their heritage languages (HLs) when controlling for characteristics of the women, their husbands and families. This study indicates that cultural transmission is statistically significant for women whose social networks are strong. The main findings show that women who kept their HLs and their ancestors/fathers belong to the countries with higher/lower FLFP rates; they tend to work more/less hours in the US, respectively. Also, the results are robust when controlling origin country characteristics and employing instrumental variable and husband’s culture.

Keywords: Culture; Ancestors; Labor supply; Heritage language; Female labor force participation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O10 J01 Z10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11150-020-09484-0

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