Household Extension and Employment among Asian Immigrant Women

Jeehye Kang, University of Maryland

To help explain variation in immigrant women’s employment, we provide an empirical model specifying women’s labor supply decisions, focusing on the presence of older household members in the homes of younger immigrants. Using the American Community Survey 2008-2010, the paper incorporates individual, familial, and labor market resources of married, Asian immigrant women. We find traditional human capital explanations are insufficient. Varied employment patterns interact with household composition, husbands’ incomes, family members’ characteristics, and local labor markets circumstances across ethnic groups. Women’s employment rates significantly change with the presence of older adults. Hampered by housework and care work, we suspect, Asian immigrant women apparently receive some support from extended household members (especially women), which increases their employment rates. Employed adults support women’s market labor participation, while disabled adults’ discourage women’s employment outside the home. Additional ethnic variations in these dynamics deserve future study.

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Presented in Poster Session 5