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Self-Employed Immigrants in Denmark and Sweden: A Way to Economic Self-Reliance?

  • Andersson Joona, Pernilla

    ()

    (SOFI, Stockholm University)

  • Wadensjö, Eskil

    ()

    (Stockholm University)

Immigrants have a weak position in the labour market in most European countries. Many have difficulties in establishing themselves in the labour market, the employment rate is low and the hourly wages are generally lower than what could be expected from characteristics (age, gender, education). Many have to rely on the social transfer payments including social assistance. One way to avoid the problems in getting a job is to become self-employed. In this paper we make use of two large data-sets to study self-employment among immigrants in Denmark and Sweden. The three main issues covered are 1) if the immigrants are overrepresented among the self-employed, 2) the characteristics of self-employed immigrants, and 3) the incomes of the self-employed immigrants. In each case we compare the situation in the two countries. The immigrants, especially immigrants from non-Western countries, are overrepresented among the self-employed in both countries. The selfemployed immigrants in both countries have relatively low incomes, lower than natives with the corresponding characteristics.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1130.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1130
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  1. Clark, Kenneth & Drinkwater, Stephen, 2000. "Pushed out or pulled in? Self-employment among ethnic minorities in England and Wales," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 603-628, September.
  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. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-506.
  4. Fairlie, Robert, 2014. "Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt24p7v6gc, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  5. Kræn Blume Jensen & Mette Ejrnæs & Helena Skyt Nielsen & Allan Würtz, 2003. "Self-Employment among Immigrants: A Last Resort?," CAM Working Papers 2003-08, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  6. 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.
  7. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1996. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains: Evidence from the Swedish Lottery," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1515-26, November.
  8. 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.
  9. George J. Borjas & Stephen G. Bronars, 1988. "Consumer Discrimination and Self-Employment," NBER Working Papers 2627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Blanchflower, David G., 2000. "Self-employment in OECD countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 471-505, September.
  11. Blume, Kraen & Gustafsson, Bjorn & Pedersen, Peder J. & Verner, Mette, 2003. "A Tale of Two Countries: Poverty among Immigrants in Denmark and Sweden since 1984," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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