African Americans' Pursuit of Self-Employment
AbstractThis study examines causes of black/white gaps in business ownership and self-employment rates by analyzing small-business entry and exit patterns. We proceed by recognizing heterogeneity in business ownership across different industry groups: a classification of firms by human- and financial-capital “intensiveness”, or entry barriers, we find, is useful for explaining racial differences in entrepreneurship. The barriers facing aspiring entrepreneurs seeking entry into low-barrier industries differ substantially from those limiting entry into high-barrier industries. Higher entry and lower exit rates typifying whites, relative to African Americans, are traditionally interpreted as reflections of the greater financial- and human-capital resources possessed by non-minorities. This consensus view, however, is simplistic. While education background is a powerful predictor of self-employment patterns in the low-barrier industries, advanced educational credentials actually predict lower entry: college graduates are less likely to select into low-barrier small business ownership. In the high-barrier fields, in contrast, college-educated individuals are more likely than less educated persons to enter into self employment. Overall, black presence in high-barrier fields is held down by lower net asset holdings and weaker educational credentials of potential and actual entrepreneurs. In the low-barrier industries, where the majority of black-owned businesses operate, net worth levels and educational backgrounds are trumped by the racial characteristic: low black entry and high exit rates are powerfully predicted by one's race.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3156.
Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Small Business Economics, 2013, 40 (1), 73-86
Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Other versions of this item:
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David G. Blanchflower & Phillip B. Levine & David J. Zimmerman, 2003.
"Discrimination in the Small-Business Credit Market,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 930-943, November.
- David G. Blanchflower & Phillip B. Levine & David J. Zimmerman, 1998. "Discrimination in the Small Business Credit Market," NBER Working Papers 6840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Timothy Bates & Robert McGuckin, 1990. "The Characteristics of Business Owners Data Base," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 736-751.
- William D. Bradford, 2003. "The Wealth Dynamics of Entrepreneurship for Black and White Families in the U.S," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(1), pages 89-116, 03.
- Bruce D. Meyer, 1990. "Why Are There So Few Black Entrepreneurs?," NBER Working Papers 3537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
- Bates, Timothy, 1995. "Self-employment entry across industry groups," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 143-156, March.
- Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-59, November.
- Ken Cavalluzzo & John Wolken, 2005.
"Small Business Loan Turndowns, Personal Wealth, and Discrimination,"
The Journal of Business,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(6), pages 2153-2178, November.
- Ken Cavalluzzo & John Wolken, 2002. "Small business loan turndowns, personal wealth and discrimination," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
- Thomas Dunn & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment:Evidence from Intergenerational Links," NBER Working Papers 5622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Paul D. Reynolds & Nancy M. Carter & William B. Gartner & Patricia G. Greene, 2004. "The Prevalence of Nascent Entrepreneurs in the United States: Evidence from the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 263-284, November.
- Timothy Bates & William D. Bradford, 2008. "Venture-Capital Investment in Minority Business," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 489-504, 03.
- Erik Hurst & Annamaria Lusardi, 2004. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 319-347, April.
- Fairlie, Robert W. & Krashinsky, Harry A., 2006.
"Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship Revisited,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2201, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Robert W. Fairlie & Harry A. Krashinsky, 2012. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, And Entrepreneurship Revisited," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(2), pages 279-306, 06.
- Fairlie, Robert W. & Krashinsky, Harry A., 2011. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship Revisited," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6hv0m2q6, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
- Robert W. Fairlie & Harry A. Krashinsky, 2012. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship Revisited," CESifo Working Paper Series 3784, CESifo Group Munich.
- Robert W. Fairlie, 2013.
"Entrepreneurship, Economic Conditions, and the Great Recession,"
Journal of Economics & Management Strategy,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 207-231, 06.
- Fairlie, Robert W., 2011. "Entrepreneurship, Economic Conditions, and the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 5725, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Fairlie, Rob, 2011. "Entrepreneurship, Economic Conditions, and the Great Recession," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0x3809sf, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
- Robert W. Fairlie, 2013. "Entrepreneurship, Economic Conditions, and the Great Recession," CESifo Working Paper Series 4140, CESifo Group Munich.
- Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth & Belton, Willie, 2008. "The Role of Information and Institutions in Understanding the Black-White Gap in Self-Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 3761, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- M. Thomas, 2009. "The impact of education histories on the decision to become self-employed: a study of young, aspiring, minority business owners," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 455-466, December.
- Michaelides, Marios, 2010. "Race and self-employment: The role of training programs, self-employment background, and access to financing," MPRA Paper 20884, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.