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The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants

  • George J. Borjas

Self-employment is an important aspect of the immigrant experience in the labor market. Self-employment rates for immigrants exceed 15 percent for some national groups. Using the 1970 and 1980 U.S. Censuses, the analysis shows that self-employment rates of immigrants exceed those of native-born men; that there is a strong, positive impact of assimilation on self-employment rates; that more recent waves of immigrants are opting with increasing frequency for the self-employment option; and that part of the immigrant/native-born differential in self-employment rates can be attributed to "enclave" effects.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 21 (1986)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 485-506

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:21:y:1986:i:4:p:485-506
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  1. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  2. Carliner, Geoffrey, 1980. "Wages, Earnings and Hours of First, Second, and Third Generation American Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 87-102, January.
  3. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Self-Employment and Labor Force Participation of Older Males," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 339-357.
  4. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  5. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1977. "Education and Screening," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 949-58, December.
  6. Guillermina Jasso & Mark Rosenzweig, 1986. "Family reunification and the immigration multiplier: U.S. immigration law, origin-country conditions, and the reproduction of immigrants," Demography, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 291-311, August.
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