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The spirit of capitalism? Immigration, religion, and self-employment in early 20th century Canada

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  • Chris Minns,
  • Mariyan Rizov

Abstract

This paper examines self-employment in Canada at the beginning of the twentieth century. As in the late 20th century, self-employment one hundred years ago was associated with greater human capital, and negatively related to wages in the local district. We also find strong evidence of immigrant assimilation in selfemployment, and modest evidence of higher self-employment in enclaves with greater concentration of immigrants. An analysis of recent immigrants supports the hypothesis that liquidity constraints are a strong determinant of self-employment. While religion and individual human capital are highly correlated, we find that the direct effects of membership in different Christian denominations were small.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Minns, & Mariyan Rizov, 2003. "The spirit of capitalism? Immigration, religion, and self-employment in early 20th century Canada," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp08, IIIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Leonard Dudley & Ulrich Blum, 2001. "Religion and economic growth: was Weber right?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 207-230.
    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 808-827, August.
    3. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 1996. "Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 757-793.
    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 463-489, October.
    5. Chiswick, Barry R., 1991. "Jewish immigrant skill and occupational attainment at the turn of the century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 64-86, January.
    6. Murray John E., 1995. "Human Capital in Religious Communes: Literacy and Selection of Nineteenth Century Shakers," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 217-235, April.
    7. Borjas, George J & Bronars, Stephen G, 1989. "Consumer Discrimination and Self-employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 581-605, June.
    8. Blum, U. & Dudley, L., 2001. "Religion and Economic Growth: Was Weber Right?," Cahiers de recherche 2001-05, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en ├ęconomie quantitative, CIREQ.
    9. Blau, David M., 1986. "Self-employment, earnings, and mobility in Peninsular Malaysia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(7), pages 839-852, July.
    10. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-535, June.
    11. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-506.
    12. Minns, Chris, 2000. "Income, Cohort Effects, and Occupational Mobility: A New Look at Immigration to the United States at the Turn of the 20th Century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 326-350, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Minns, Chris & Rizov, Marian, 2005. "The spirit of capitalism? Ethnicity, religion, and self-employment in early 20th century Canada," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 259-281, April.

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    Keywords

    self-employment; immigration; religion; Canada.;

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