Immigration and Gender Differences in the Labor Market


This paper analyzes the effect of immigration on gender gaps in the labor market. Using an equilibrium structural model for the U.S. economy, I simulate the importance of two mechanisms: the differential labor market competition induced by immigration on male and female workers, and the availability of cheaper child care services. On top of wage gaps, the structural model allows me to evaluate gender differences in human capital and labor supply adjustments, which are also influenced by these mechanisms. The main findings suggest that while the labor market competition effects increase gender wage and participation gaps substantially, the availability of cheaper child care compensates this negative effect on average, making overall average effects negligible. However, there is an important degree of heterogeneity of these effects, and while gender gaps are reduced at some points of the skill distribution, they are substantially increased in others.