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Self-Employment Dynamics across the Business Cycle: Migrants versus Natives

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  • Amelie Constant
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann

Abstract

Economically active people are either in gainful employment, are unemployed or self-employed. We are interested in the dynamics of the transitions between these states across the business cycle. It is generally perceived that employment or self-employment are absorbing states. However, innovations, structural changes and business cycles generate strong adjustment processes that lead to fluctuations between employment and self-employment, directly or through the unemployment state. Migrants are more likely to be sensitive to adjustment pressures than natives, since they have less stable jobs and choose more often self-employment to avoid periods of unemployment. These issues are investigated using a huge micro data set generated from 19 waves of the German Socioeconomic Panel. The findings suggest that the conditional probabilities of entry into self-employment are more than twice as high from the status of unemployment as from the status of employment. Self-employment is also an important channel back to regular employment. Business cycle effects strongly impact the employment transition matrix, and migrants take a larger part in the adjustment process. They use self-employment as a mechanism to circumvent and escape unemployment and to integrate into the host country's labor market.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 455.

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Length: 51 p.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp455

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Keywords: Self-employment; Entrepreneurship; Business cycle; Migration; Markov chain analysis;

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References

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  1. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  2. Fairlie, Robert, 2014. "The Absence of the African-American Owned Business: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Self-Employment," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt49c4n0fg, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  3. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 1942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christopher J. Flinn & James J. Heckman, 1982. "Models for the Analysis of Labor Force Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 0857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Constant, Amelie & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2003. "The Dynamics of Repeat Migration: A Markov Chain Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 4124, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Constant, Amelie F. & Shachmurove, Yochanan & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2003. "What Makes an Entrepreneur and Does It Pay? Native Men, Turks, and Other Migrants in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 940, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew & Stutzer, Alois, 2001. "Latent entrepreneurship across nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 680-691, May.
  8. Kræn Blume Jensen & Mette Ejrnæs & Helena Skyt Nielsen & Allan Würtz, 2003. "Self-Employment among Immigrants: A Last Resort?," CAM Working Papers 2003-08, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  9. David Blanchflower & A Oswald, 1993. "Entrepreneurship," CEP Discussion Papers dp0134, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Clark, Kenneth & Drinkwater, Stephen, 1998. "Ethnicity and Self-Employment in Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(3), pages 383-407, August.
  11. Fairlie, Robert, 2014. "Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt24p7v6gc, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  12. Carrasco, R., 1997. "Transitions to and from Self-Employment in Spain: An Empirical Analysis," Papers 9710, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  13. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-506.
  14. David G. Blanchflower, 2004. "Self-Employment: More may not be better," NBER Working Papers 10286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Dunn, Thomas & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment: Evidence from Intergenerational Links," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 282-305, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alexander Kritikos & Christoph Kneiding & Claas Christian Germelmann, 2009. "Demand Side Analysis of Microlending Markets in Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 229(5), pages 523-543, October.
  2. Amelie Constant, 2008. "Businesswomen in Germany and Their Performance by Ethnicity: It Pays to Be Self-Employed," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 815, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Werner Eichhors & Hilmar Schneider & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2006. "Konzentration statt Verzettelung: Die deutsche Arbeitsmarktpolitik am Scheideweg," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(3), pages 377-394, 08.
  4. Milo Bianchi, 2008. "Financial development, entrepreneurship and job satisfaction," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586059, HAL.
  5. Svaleryd, Helena, 2013. "Self-employment and the local business cycle," Working Paper Series 2013:15, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  6. Bella Struminskaya, 2011. "Selbständigkeit von Personen mit Migrationshintergrund in Deutschland: Ursachen ethnischer Unternehmung," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 418, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Alexander S. Kritikos & Christoph Kneiding & Claas Christian Germelmann, 2006. "Is there a Market for Micro-Lending in Industrialized Countries? - Evidence from Germany," Working Papers 0003, Gesellschaft für Arbeitsmarktaktivierung (GfA).
  8. Productivity Commission, 2006. "The Role of Non-Traditional Work in the Australian Labour Market," Research Papers 0601, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia.
  9. Amelie Constant & Yochanan Shachmurove, 2005. "The comparison of incomes of self-employed and salaried workers among German Nationals and immigrants," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-030, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  10. Román, Concepción & Congregado, Emilio & Millán, José María, 2013. "Start-up incentives: Entrepreneurship policy or active labour market programme?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 151-175.
  11. Kræn Blume & Mette Ejrnæs & Helena Nielsen & Allan Würtz, 2009. "Labor market transitions of immigrants with emphasis on marginalization and self-employment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 881-908, October.
  12. Werner, Arndt & Moog, Petra, 2009. "Why do Employees Leave Their Jobs for Self-Employment? – The Impact of Entrepreneurial Working Conditions in Small Firms," MPRA Paper 18826, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Ken Clark & Stephen Drinkwater, 2010. "Patterns of ethnic self-employment in time and space: evidence from British Census microdata," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 323-338, April.

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