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Levy Economics Institute presents

Social Norms and Women's Labour Participation

Married Women in Assembly Plant Employment: The Case of Tehuacan, Mexico

Friday, December 14, 2012

Levy Economics Institute

Arlette Covarrubias

Candidate for Levy Economics Institute position of Research Scholar
in the program Gender Equality and the Economy

Friday, December 14th
2:00pm
Blithewood, Room 203



Social Norms and Women's Labour Participation
Married Women in Assembly Plant Employment: The Case of Tehuacan, Mexico

Abstract
The aim of the paper is to deepen the understanding on how social norms influence married women’s participation in salaried employment. To this end, married women’s decisions to work in assembly plants of two towns in Tehuacán, Puebla: San Gabriel Chilac and Santiago Miahuatlán are analyzed. Three main moral arguments sustaining women should not work in assembly plants are identified. First, women are perceived as responsible of childbearing and household tasks. Secondly, it is sensed that married women who worked in these plants are promiscuous. Finally, it is men’s role is to be the economic provider of the family. Using a 2006 household survey data, it is tested whether wives and husbands’ disagreement on each of the moral arguments positively impacts women’s probability to participate on assembly plant employment. Characteristics of those households that were more likely to sustain these moral arguments are also identified. To this end, a Bivariate Probit regression model with disagreement on moral rules and participation in salaried employment as dependant variables is estimated.

Findings suggest that wives’ disagreement on moral arguments significantly affects female participation in assembly plant employment. Conversely, only husband’s disagreement on working women being promiscuous influences their wives probability to work. The factors with which in turn are found to have an effect on disagreement on moral rules are years of education and age. Being from San Gabriel Chilac also influences women’s and men’s disagreement on women being promiscuous.

For more information or a copy of paper please call or e-mail:
845-758-7710 or mullaly@levy.org

For more information, call 845-758-7710, e-mail mullaly@levy.org,
or visit http://www.levyinstitute.org.

Location: Blithewood, Levy Institute