An Examination of Cross-Country Differences in the Gender Gap in Labor Force Participation Rates

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Economics (CMC)

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Using evidence on variation in the gender gap in labor force participation rates (LFPR) across home country groups in the United States, this paper analyzes cross-country differences in these gaps. The empirical evidence reveals that for first generation immigrants, over half of the overall variation in the gender gap in LFPR is attributable to home country LFPR. This suggests that there exists a permanent, portable factor, i.e., culture, that is not captured by observed human capital measures, that affects outcomes. The smaller role of home country LFPR for second-and-higher generation immigrants, provides evidence of cultural assimilation as well.

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© 2000 Elsevier

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