- Over the period 1990-2010, immigration to France has disproportionately increased the number of female workers.
- We quantify the elasticity of substitution between male and female workers of similar education and experience and find that they are imperfect substitutes in production.
- We use two complementary empirical methodologies to investigate the effect of immigration on the gender wage gap.
- An immigration-induced increase in the supply of female workers has a negative impact on the relative wage of female natives, thereby contributing to a widening gender wage gap.
This paper analyzes the effects of immigration on the gender wage gap. Using a detailed individual French dataset, we shed lights on the strong feminization of the immigration workforce from 1990 to 2010. Our theoretical model predicts that a shift in the supply of female workers increases gender wage inequality when men and women are imperfect substitute in production. Our structural estimate shows an imperfect substituability between men and women workers of similar education and experience. Our econometric analysis shows that a 10% increase in immigrant female labor supply relative to immigrant male labor supply in a given education-experience group lowers the relative earnings of female native workers of that group by 4%. We finally use a structural model to account for the cross-group effects induced by immigration and show that the rise in the relative number of female immigrants has decreased the relative wage of female native workers, thereby contributing to a widening native gender wage gap.
Keywords : Migration | labor supply | gender wage gap
JEL : f22, j16, j21, j31, j61