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Labor Market Discrimination, Imperfect Information and Self Employment


  • Coate, Stephen
  • Tennyson, Sharon


This paper investigates the effects of labor market discrimination on the self employment returns of those discriminated against. It demonstrates that, in situations of imperfect information, labor market discrimination can "spill over" into markets relevant to self employment, creating seemingly discriminatory outcomes in these markets. Thus, credit market discrimination or consumer discrimination against minority entrepreneurs could arise as an indirect effect of labor market discrimination. The existence of these spillover effects is shown to have two important implications for self employment outcomes. First, labor market discrimination is likely to yield lower expected returns from self employment for individuals from discriminated against groups. Second, labor market discrimination may actually result in those discriminated against having less incentive to enter self-employment than individuals from other groups. Copyright 1992 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Coate, Stephen & Tennyson, Sharon, 1992. "Labor Market Discrimination, Imperfect Information and Self Employment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 272-288, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:44:y:1992:i:2:p:272-88

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ashwini Deshpande & Smriti Sharma, 2016. "Disadvantage and discrimination in self-employment: caste gaps in earnings in Indian small businesses," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 325-346, February.
    2. Elena Bardasi & Shwetlena Sabarwal & Katherine Terrell, 2011. "How do female entrepreneurs perform? Evidence from three developing regions," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 417-441, November.
    3. Richard Chisik, 2015. "Job market signalling, stereotype threat and counter-stereotypical behaviour," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(1), pages 155-188, February.
    4. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2013-01 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Karen Leppel, 2016. "The incidence of self-employment by sexual orientation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 347-363, March.
    6. Ruth Oyelere & Willie Belton, 2013. "Black–White gap in self-employment. Does intra-race heterogeneity exist?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 25-39, June.
    7. Chiara Peroni & Cesare A. F. Riillo & Francesco Sarracino, 2016. "Entrepreneurship and immigration: evidence from GEM Luxembourg," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 639-656, April.
    8. repec:kap:compec:v:50:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10614-016-9592-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Nigar Hashimzade & Yulia Rodionova, 2013. "Gender Bias in Access to Finance, Occupational Choice, and Business Performance," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2013-01, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    10. François Combarnous, 1994. "Discrimination et marché du travail : concepts et théories," Documents de travail 02, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
    11. Demyanyk, Yuliya, 2008. "U.S. banking deregulation and self-employment: A differential impact on those in need," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 165-178.
    12. 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.
    13. Bruce D. Meyer, 1990. "Why Are There So Few Black Entrepreneurs?," NBER Working Papers 3537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Williams, Donald R., 2012. "Gender discrimination and self-employment dynamics in Europe," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 153-158.
    15. Robert W. Fairlie & Alicia M. Robb, 2008. "Race and Entrepreneurial Success: Black-, Asian-, and White-Owned Businesses in the United States," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026206281x, January.
    16. Christophe Muller, 2003. "Female Activity Choice In A Dual Context: An Integrated Model For Formal And Informal Sectors In Cameroon," Working Papers. Serie AD 2003-39, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    17. Nelli S. Gazanchyan & Nigar Hashimzade & Yulia Rodionova & Natalia Vershinina, 2017. "Gender, Access to Finance, Occupational Choice, and Business Performance," CESifo Working Paper Series 6353, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Fender, John, 2005. "Self employment, education and credit constraints: A model of interdependent credit rationing decisions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 31-51, March.
    19. Sandrine Rospabéa, 2002. "How Did Labour Market Racial Discrimination Evolve After The End Of Apartheid?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 70(1), pages 185-217, March.

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