Does Homeownership Facilitate the Social and Economic Integration of Immigrant Women? an Analysis of Time Use in the United States, 2003-2015

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
Milos BROCIC, University of Toronto, Canada
Brent BERRY, University of Toronto, Canada
In the literature on immigrant settlement, scholars commonly refer to rates of homeownership when assessing differential levels of integration; it is often conceptualized as an indicator of integration. Yet, how attainment of homeownership shapes immigrant behaviour – its role as a mechanism of integration – remains largely unexamined. Using data from the American Time-Use Survey from 2003-2015, we assess how homeownership is related to changes in the time-use of immigrants across different domains of life. We hypothesize that homeownership will be associated with greater gender parity in immigrant time use in the labour market, the household, for recreation, and volunteering. Results indicate that while immigrant time-use tends to reflect more traditional gender norms when compared to non-immigrants, the move into homeownership appears to have a unique significance for immigrants, promoting a greater presence in the public sphere for immigrant women. Homeownership tends to decrease immigrant women’s share of household labour compared to men, while having the opposite effect for non-immigrants. Moreover, while homeownership tends to decrease the time spent in the labour market for non-immigrant women, there is no such effect for immigrant women. In fact, female immigrant homeowners spend more time in the labour market on average than non-immigrant women. We conclude with a discussion calling for further study into the role homeownership has as a mechanism of integration for immigrants, and its role in shifting immigrant families away from the traditional breadwinner model and towards more dual-income earner households where women have a greater public presence.