Labor Force Participation and the Decision to Work Full Time: A Focus on the Female African Immigrant

Rebbeca Tesfai, University of Pennsylvania

The immigrant population in the United States has changed dramatically in both gender and ethnic composition in recent years, yet most research on labor force participation of immigrants does not acknowledge this change. Using 2000 Census data, I test the existing explanations for the decision to work and the decision to work full time, comparing ethnic groups and groups within Africa. Dividing Africa shows the regional differences in labor force participation of full time work within Africa. Both the decision to work and the decision to work full time differ between ethnic groups and between African groups, with little change in odds ratios with the addition of variables in each model with only two exceptions: the effect of human capital characteristics on the relatively likelihood of women from the horn of Africa joining the labor force and non-personal income’s effect on the likelihood of East African women working full time.

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Presented in Poster Session 2