Migrant women’s employment: international Turkish migrants in Europe, their descendants, and their non-migrant counterparts in Turkey

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

February 11, 2022


When compared with native-born women, migrant women have lower employment likelihoods. However, to reveal the relationship between migration and employment, migrant women need to be compared to those remaining in the origin regions and across generations. This study is the first to fill this gap by employing a dissimilation-from-origins and across-generations perspective. We test the hypothesis that migration to more welfare-state based and liberal contexts increase women’s employment likelihood among migrants and the second generation. The 2000 Families data enable a unique comparison of Turkish international migrants, including Turkish-origin women born in Europe, and their non-migrant counterparts from the same regions in Turkey. Furthermore, we theorize and test whether differences in employment are explained by differences in family composition, education, and culture (religiosity and gender attitudes). We find migration leads to a higher likelihood of paid employment for the second generation and international migrant women, in that order. Education and religiosity are the main explanatory factors for differences between non-migrants and the international migrants, including the second generation. Parenthood, while explaining differences between migrant and destination ‘native’ women, hardly explains differences between migrant women and their non-migrant counterparts. Overall, we find strong support for the hypothesis that migration increases women’s employment.

Published in

European Sociological Review







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