Immigration, Gender, and Labor Force Participation in Israel: An Evaluation of the "Double Disadvantage" Thesis
Uzi Rebhun, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
This paper examines gender differences in labor force participation (LFP) among immigrants in Israel, and how these differences vary across origin groups. Analysis of the 1995 population census indicates that all else being equal immigrant women exert a negative effect on LFP. As time elapses, the probability of immigrant women to be employed improves but remains considerably lower than that of immigrant and native-born men. Nevertheless, after a few years in the country immigrant women have closed the gap with native-born women. A detailed analysis reveals substantial stratification by country of birth. Thus, while for some immigrant groups the patterns of LFP reflect a double disadvantage for women, other groups appear to have only the one disadvantage of being females. I attach this stratification to cultural background and social values of country of birth as well as to economic and religious considerations not fully indexed by the census data.