The double penalty: How female migrants manage family responsibilities in the Spanish dual labour market
Objective: This study examines the convergence of employment behaviour and work-life balance of foreign-born women with those of native-born Spanish women between 2014 and 2018.
Background: The changing role of women in the labour market is a central development of the past century. However, the study of female labour market participation has focused on native women, typically with a college education.
Method: We use the Spanish Labour Force Survey and its 2018 ad hoc module on the reconciliation of work and family life to compare the working behaviours of native and migrant women. We use a matching algorithm to construct a sample of native workers with comparable human capital and living arrangement characteristics.
Results: The segmentation of the Spanish labour market leads to the concentration of female immigrants in specific occupational niches with precarious employment conditions, regardless of the length of their stay in the country. The country’s employment and care regime forces female migrants to deal with their care responsibilities differently than their native counterparts: i.e., migrants are more likely than natives to interrupt their employment to fulfil household duties, and are less likely to engage in part-time work and to outsource care provision to family and professional caregivers.
Conclusion: Female immigrants are doubly penalised as both immigrants and mothers.
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