Family formation and labor force participation among immigrants in Spain

Alberto del Rey Poveda, Universidad de Salamanca
Rafael Grande Martín, Universidad de Málaga
Enrique Fernández-Macías, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
José-Ignacio Antón, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz
Rafael Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo, Universidad de Salamanca

The aim of this paper is to analyze the interferences between the process of family formation and labor force participation among the migrant population in Spain. This population faces two conflicting circumstances; on the one hand, the need-urgency for the children they delayed having due to the migration process, and on the other, the need-urgency to find employment, given that their main reason for migrating was an economic one. This study uses data from the Spanish National Immigration Survey 2007, and multivariable models have been applied, with the dependent variables being the birth of the first child following the migration process and labor mobility after the first job in the host country. Our findings reveal different interferences between the process of family formation and labor force participation for migrant men and women. According to a patriarchal family model, men prioritize their labor trajectory over family life, while women adopt the opposite approach. For men, their labor trajectory is not affected by the family trajectory, and their labor trajectory in turn has no effect on the family trajectory, with the exception that unemployment reduces the probability of having children. For women, the family trajectory clearly has an impact on employment, but by contrast, employment does not affect family formation. Note should be taken of the unequal effect that partnership status has on the labor force participation of men and women, as being single or not living with a partner favors the participation of women, but by contrast it facilitates the exit from employment of migrant men. Finally, mention should be made of the lack of significance of job mobility within the labor market in the process of family formation, which may reflect the major segmentation of the Spanish labor market.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session 1