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Trends in the occupations of eminent black entrepreneurs in the United States

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  • Boyd, Robert L.

Abstract

This study analyzes the occupations of black Americans who have been nationally recognized for their business achievements. Data from renowned encyclopedic sources of biographical information show that occupational niches that arose because of racial segregation and limited opportunities for blacks to participate in the economic mainstream, such as personal services and undertaking, are no longer important routes into the "black business elite." Yet, these data also suggest that, during the 20th century, entertainment, beauty products, and advertising became major pathways into this elite because of an opportunity structure that promoted blacks' participation in these occupational niches yet restricted it in others, notably, in construction and manufacturing.

Suggested Citation

  • Boyd, Robert L., 2008. "Trends in the occupations of eminent black entrepreneurs in the United States," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2390-2398, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:6:p:2390-2398
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Timothy Bates, 1985. "Impact of preferential procurement policies on minority-owned businesses," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 51-65, June.
    2. Charles Hirschman, 2005. "Immigration and the American century," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(4), pages 595-620, November.
    3. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 2000. "Trends in Self-Employment among White and Black Men during the Twentieth Century," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 643-669.
    4. Faini,Riccardo C. & de Melo,Jaime & Zimmermann,Klaus (ed.), 1999. "Migration," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662338, April.
    5. Bogan, Vicki & Darity Jr., William, 2008. "Culture and entrepreneurship? African American and immigrant self-employment in the United States," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1999-2019, October.
    6. Timothy Bates & Caren Grown, 1991. "Commercial Bank Lending Practices And The Development Of Black-Owned Construction Companies," Working Papers 91-9, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    7. Ingham, John N., 2003. "Building Businesses, Creating Communities: Residential Segregation and the Growth of African American Business in Southern Cities, 1880–1915," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(04), pages 639-665, December.
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