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Immigrant versus Native Businesswomen: Proclivity and Performance


  • Constant, Amelie F.

    () (Temple University)


Career positions in German economic life are still male-dominated, and the driving forces behind success are not yet well understood. This paper contributes to a better understanding by classifying success stories in self-employment and business careers, and by investigating differences between native women (both from West and East Germany) and migrants using a rich data set from the German Socio-economic Panel. Results on self-employment proclivity are very sensitive to the alternative choice. Women choose self-employment over a business career in the salaried sector when they are older, less educated, have under-age children, and parents who are self-employed themselves. When women are younger and more educated but have children, they choose self-employment as a way to circumvent unemployment. Women who are more educated and do not have under-age children are more likely to be businesswomen in the salaried sector, suggesting a clear choice for a secure job. East German women are less likely to choose self-employment or a business career than West German women. Overall, compared to other types of employment, selfemployment offers women the desirable and valuable element of time and space flexibility. Businesswomen in paid-employment earn the highest wages and this is long-lasting. Compared to women in lower dependent employment, those in self-employment earn more. Thus, self-employment offers women a path to economic success. Invariably, East German women earn less than West German women.

Suggested Citation

  • Constant, Amelie F., 2004. "Immigrant versus Native Businesswomen: Proclivity and Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 1234, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1234

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Constant, Amelie F. & Shachmurove, Yochanan, 2003. "Entrepreneurial Ventures and Wage Differentials Between Germans and Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 879, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Constant, Amelie F. & Shachmurove, Yochanan & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2003. "What Makes an Entrepreneur and Does It Pay? Native Men, Turks, and Other Migrants in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 940, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Magnus Lofstrom, 2002. "Labor market assimilation and the self-employment decision of immigrant entrepreneurs," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(1), pages 83-114.
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    6. Taylor, Mark P, 2001. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains in Britain: Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 539-565, November.
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    13. Henning Lohmann, 2001. "Self-employed or employee, full-time or part-time? Gender differences in the determinants and conditions for self-employment in Europe and the US," MZES Working Papers 38, MZES.
    14. Clark, Kenneth & Drinkwater, Stephen, 1998. "Ethnicity and Self-Employment in Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(3), pages 383-407, August.
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    More about this item


    economics of minorities; occupational choice; self-employment; entrepreneurship; economics of gender; immigrants;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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