Economic Crisis and Latin American Migrant Households in Spain: Resilient Women or Vulnerable Men?

Xiana Bueno-García, Harvard University
Elena Vidal-Coso, University of Geneva

The 2008 global economic recession has had significant consequences on household’s financial arrangements and couples’ income models. One of the observed consequences has been the emerging pattern of households economically headed by women. The analysis of dual-earner couples that during the financial crisis ended up in a female breadwinner economic model is crucial in a context of job segregation by gender and immigrant origin as the Spanish case. While unemployment has dramatically affected traditionally male occupational sectors, the economic recession has had more serious consequences on migrant families, as migrants have a more precarious and marginal position in the labour market. In this work, we particularly aim to explore the case of Latin-American migrants in Spain compared to native population. Using the panel version of the Spanish Labour Force Survey (SLFS) from 2008 to 2015, we cover the economic recession period to analyze the impact of the crisis on the transition to female-earner couples among Latin Americans and Spanish households. Our main objective is to assess to what extent a higher share of female-headed households among Latin American households is a result of more pronounced gender patterns in those households in terms of vulnerability of labor market positions. To answer this question, we run logistic regression models with random effects to examine the transitions from Latin American and Spanish dual-earner couples, with or without children, to couples in which the male has lost his job and the female has become the sole economic provider.

Presented in Session 1088: International Migration and Migrant Populations