Immigrants, domestic labor and women's retirement decisions

Giovanni Peri, Agnese Romiti, Mariacristina Rossi

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9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper estimates the effect of immigrants on the women–men gap in retirement and working decisions. We focus on the effect that operates through immigrants' supply of domestic labor, which substitutes women's household services especially in the care of elderly parents.We use a dataset of Italian households that contains information on planned retirement age, labor supply and family structure for a representative sample in the years 2000–2008. A double-difference identification approach exploits the women–men differences between families with andwithout old parents, interactedwith the supply of immigrants in the local labormarket.We find that an increase of immigrants by one percentage point of the local population is associated with an increase in the planned retirement age gap between women and men with a living parent over 80, by 0.45. Such differential is reduced to 0.17 if the household had no living old parent. The effect is stronger for poor and for less educated women. It is also stronger when considering the inflow of Eastern European female immigrants only, the group supplying the largest share of labor for domestic care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-34
Number of pages17
JournalLabour Economics
Early online date28 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2015


  • international migration
  • retirement
  • labor supply
  • home production
  • elderly care


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