Summary This paper investigates the traits of self-employed entrepreneurs in urban China, an economy rife with informational and institutional imperfections, under-developed financial markets, but a growing and important non-state sector. Despite this challenging context, this paper finds that entrepreneurs make on average 20% more than non-entrepreneurs, while being similar in age, marital status, educational attainment, and socio-economic background. Fewer are Communist Party members and more have experienced unemployment, however. Women, Party members, more educated and older workers are less likely to become entrepreneurs. Social networks, motivation and drive, and attitudes toward risk, are all significant factors associated with entrepreneurship.
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