Journal Article

Gender and Ethnicity—Married Immigrants in Britain

Christian Dustmann and Francesca Fabbri

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 21, issue 3, pages 462-484
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/gri026
Gender and Ethnicity—Married Immigrants in Britain

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In this paper we investigate the economic activity of married or cohabiting female immigrants in Britain. We distinguish between two immigrant groups: foreign-born females who belong to an ethnic-minority group and their husbands, and foreign-born white females and their husbands. We compare these to native-born white women and their husbands. Our analysis deviates from the usual mean analysis and investigates employment, hours worked and earnings for males and females, as well as their combined family earnings, along the distribution of husbands' economic potential. We analyse the extent to which economic disadvantage may be reinforced at the household level and investigate the extent to which it can be explained by differences in observable characteristics. We find that white female immigrants and their husbands have an overall advantage in earnings over white native born, both individually and at the household level. Minority immigrants do less well, in particular at the lower end of the husbands' economic potential distribution. This is mainly due to the low employment of both genders, which leads to a disadvantage in earnings, intensified at the household level. Only part of this differential can be explained by observable characteristics.

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Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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