Childcare constraints on immigrant integration
Luis Guirola and
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María Sánchez-Domínguez: Universidad Complutense de Madrid
No 2216, Working Papers from Banco de España
While motherhood is one of the main reasons for the persistence of gender gaps, its impact on the rising share of immigrant mothers in Europe is less well understood. This paper asks how the burden of childcare affects the labor market integration of immigrants. To identify the contribution of this burden to the native-immigrant employment gap, it exploits European Labor Force Survey (EU-LFS) microdata from 2004 to 2019. This survey collects information on respondents’ counterfactual behaviour, in the event that: a) they had no care responsibilities; b) they could find a job compatible with their care responsibilities; c) they had access to childcare services. This information allows estimates to be obtained of the impact of childcare on labor supply comparable across eleven countries. Our results show that the burden of childcare is the major obstacle to the integration of immigrant mothers. While the employment gap between non-EU immigrant and native mothers in Northern and Southern Europe is 35 and 17 percentage points (pp) respectively, two-thirds (24 pp and 12 pp) of it is explained by childcare motivated inactivity. We reject the hypothesis that the childcare gap is solely driven by immigrants’ sociodemographic traits or traditional parenting norms. Our estimates suggest that at least a quarter (5.8 pp and 2.6 pp) of the gap is due to the higher opportunity cost of paid work faced by immigrant mothers; that equal access to childcare could reduce it by 10 pp and 7 pp; and that immigrants’ exclusion from flexible time arrangements could explain the larger size and higher persistence of the gap in the North. This paper contributes to the literature on immigrant integration, highlighting that the child penalty is the main obstacle to female migrant labor supply and that differences in howEuropean societies handle the burden of care can account for their records on the integration of immigrant households, suggesting that family policies could be central to the integration policy mix and even influence the migration decision.
Keywords: female labor supply; care burden; immigrant and native women; opportunity cost; Europe (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J15 J16 J18 J31 J61 J70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 42 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-eur, nep-gen and nep-mig
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bde:wpaper:2216
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