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Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations

  • Fairlie, Robert

We show that entrepreneurship rates differ substantially across 60 ethnic and racial groups in the United States. These differences exist within broad combinations of groups such as Asians and Hispanics, and are almost as great after regression controls, including age, education, immigrant status, and time in the country. We then provide evidence on a number of theories of entrepreneurship. An ethnic/racial group's self-employment rate is positively associated with the difference between average self-employment and wage/salary earnings for that group. Ethnic/racial groups which immigrate from countries with high business ownership rates do not have high business ownership rates in the U.S. Finally, we find that the more advantaged ethnic/racial groups, measured by wage/salary earnings, self-employment earnings, and unearned income, and not the more disadvantaged groups, have the highest self-employment rates.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt24p7v6gc.

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Date of creation: 15 May 2014
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt24p7v6gc
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  1. George J. Borjas & Glenn T. Sueyoshi, 1993. "A Two-Stage Estimator for Probit Models with Structural Group Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
  3. Ahn, H. & Powell, J.L., 1990. "Semiparametric Estimation Of Censored Selection Models With A Nonparametric Selection Mechanism," Working papers 90-33, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. George J. Borjas & Stephen G. Bronars, 1988. "Consumer Discrimination and Self-Employment," NBER Working Papers 2627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 1942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Timothy Bates, 1989. "The changing nature of minority business: A comparative analysis of asian, nonminority, and black-owned businesses," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 25-42, September.
  7. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 4526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Frank Fratoe, 1986. "A sociological analysis of minority business," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 5-29, September.
  9. Bruce D. Meyer, 1990. "Why Are There So Few Black Entrepreneurs?," NBER Working Papers 3537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  11. Devine, Theresa J, 1994. "Changes in Wage-and-Salary Returns to Skill and the Recent Rise in Female Self-Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 108-13, May.
  12. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
  13. Moore, Robert L, 1983. "Employer Discrimination: Evidence from Self-Employed Workers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 496-501, August.
  14. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  15. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 1994. "The Ethnic and Racial Character of Self-Employment," NBER Working Papers 4791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Rees, Hedley & Shah, Anup, 1986. "An Empirical Analysis of Self-employment in the U.K," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(1), pages 95-108, January.
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