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Coming to America: Does Having a Developed Home Country Matter for Self-Employment in the United States?

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  • Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere
  • Willie Belton

Abstract

This research examines the relationship between the economic status of an immigrant's home country and the probability of self-employment in the US. We find that immigrants from developing countries on average have lower self-employment probabilities relative to immigrants from developed countries. Similarly, we find a positive correlation between the current HDI of an immigrant's home country and the probability of self-employment in the US. These result are unexpected given that past research suggests immigrants from countries with high levels of self-employment (developing countries) are more likely to be self-employed in the US. We provide a possible explanation for these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere & Willie Belton, 2012. "Coming to America: Does Having a Developed Home Country Matter for Self-Employment in the United States?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 538-542, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:3:p:538-42
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.3.538
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Hout & Harvey Rosen, 2000. "Self-Employment, Family Background, and Race," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 670-692.
    2. Andrew M. Yuengert, 1995. "Testing Hypotheses of Immigrant Self-Employment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 194-204.
    3. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 1996. "Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 757-793.
    4. Fairlie, Robert W, 1999. "The Absence of the African-American Owned Business: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Self-Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 80-108, January.
    5. Mats Hammarstedt & Ghazi Shukur, 2009. "Testing the home-country self-employment hypothesis on immigrants in Sweden," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(7), pages 745-748.
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    Cited by:

    1. Haliassos, Michalis & Jansson, Thomas & Karabulut, Yigitcan, 2014. "Incompatible European partners? Cultural predispositions and household financial behavior," SAFE Working Paper Series 58, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    2. Nadia Simoes & Nuno Crespo & Sandrina B. Moreira, 2016. "Individual Determinants Of Self-Employment Entry: What Do We Really Know?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 783-806, September.
    3. Marcus H. Böhme & Sarah Kups, 2017. "The economic effects of labour immigration in developing countries: A literature review," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 335, OECD Publishing.
    4. de Mello, João M.P. & Waisman, Caio & Zilberman, Eduardo, 2014. "The effects of exposure to hyperinflation on occupational choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 109-123.

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