New Evidence on Culture and the Gender Wage Gap: A Comparison across Ethnic Origin Groups

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Book Chapter


Economics (CMC)

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Antecol (2001) finds that cultural factors play a role in explaining inter-ethnic variation in the gender wage gap across immigrant groups in the United States. This paper presents new evidence on the importance of cultural factors by exploring the relative importance of culture across specific immigrant sub-groups. More specifically, I begin with the entire immigrant sample and then progressively restrict the sample to married immigrants and then to married immigrants whose spouse is from the same country of origin. I find a positive correlation between the gender wage gaps for all immigrant groups in the United States with the same gaps in those groups’ countries of origin, however the effect is larger for married immigrants. While these results suggest the importance of cultural factors, this positive correlation is overstated when controls for differences in female labor force participation rates (LFPR) across ethnic groups are excluded, particularly for married immigrants whose spouse if from the same country of origin. Nevertheless, I also find a negative correlation between the variation in the gender wage gap of immigrants in the United States and the variation in female LFPR of immigrants in the United States, which is more consistent with unobserved cultural factors than selection of the usual type.


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© 2003 Emerald Group Publishing Limited