Women’s Migration and Labor Market Incorporation in South Africa

Emmanuel Souza , University of Pennsylvania

This study explores the labor market incorporation of migrant women in South Africa, investigating the dominant hypotheses on women’s labor market incorporation. Using data from the 2011 South African Census, I compare employment rates and income of immigrant women versus their internal migrant peers and examine how these outcomes change with additional years of residence and how they are associated with various forms of human capital. Results show that net of human capital and other demographic characteristics, immigrant women are more likely to be employed than internal migrant women. However, the better immigrant employment outcome does not translate into an earning advantage. Immigrant women earn less compared to their native counterparts even after controlling for class of worker which is a significant determinant of labor market segmentation in South Africa. I also find no evidence of family investment behavior among married women, both internal and international migrants.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization