Exiting Self-Employment: An Analysis of Asian Immigrant-Owned Small Businesses
Part of the uniqueness of the immigrant Asian business community in the U.S. lies in the fact that many among the highly educated pursue self-employment in small-scale, low-yielding retail and personal service fields. This study analyzes owner departure for a nationwide sample of small businesses owned by Asian Indian and Filipino immigrants and a comparison group of Asian nonimmigrant firm owners. Controlling for firm and owner traits, highly educated Asian immigrant owners are more likely than others to exit self-employment over the 1987-1991 period; exit from traditional fields (retail and personal services) is pronounced. These exit patterns do not typify the comparison group. Findings are consistent with the hypothesis that self-employment is often a form of underemployment among Asian immigrants.
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