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The earnings of self-employed Mexican Americans along the U.S.-Mexico border


  • Chrystell Flota

    () (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, TX 78539-2999, USA)

  • Marie T. Mora

    () (Department of Economics and International Business, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001, USA)


We utilize data from the 1990 1% Public Use Microdata Sample to analyze the earnings and occupational status of self-employed Mexican Americans in the five major U.S.-Mexico border metropolitan statistical areas (Brownsville, El Paso, Laredo, and McAllen in Texas, and San Diego, California) relative to those in non-border cities. Our findings suggest that self-employed Mexican American men earned significantly less in Texas-Mexico border cities than in other areas on average, while the earnings of self-employed Mexican American women did not significantly vary between border and non-border cities. We also find evidence that these earnings differentials may be related to differences in self-employment selection and occupational choice. As such, "across the board" policies designed to foster self-employment may not have the desired effect of boosting economic prosperity unless consideration is given to the socioeconomic and demographic composition of the region as well as to the specific occupational sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Chrystell Flota & Marie T. Mora, 2001. "The earnings of self-employed Mexican Americans along the U.S.-Mexico border," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 35(3), pages 483-499.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:35:y:2001:i:3:p:483-499 Note: Received: June 2000/Accepted: December 2000

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fujita, Masahisa & Hamaguchi, Nobuaki, 2001. "Intermediate goods and the spatial structure of an economy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 79-109, February.
    2. Hoerter, Darrell & Wiseman, Michael, 1988. "Metropolitan Development in the San Francisco Bay Area," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 22(3), pages 11-33, November.
    3. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
    4. Chung, W. & Wu, Y. June & Fuller, J. David, 1997. "Dynamic energy and environment equilibrium model for the assessment of CO2 emission control in Canada and the USA," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 103-124, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maude Toussaint-Comeau, 2005. "Do enclaves matter in immigrants’ self-employment decision?," Working Paper Series WP-05-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    2. Alberto Dávila & Marie T. Mora, 2008. "Changes In The Relative Earnings Gap Between Natives And Immigrants Along The U.S.-Mexico Border," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 525-545.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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