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The Making of Entrepreneurs in Germany: Are Native Men and Immigrants Alike?

  • Constant, Amelie F.

    ()

    (George Washington University, Temple University)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    ()

    (IZA and University of Bonn)

This paper uses a state of the art three-stage technique to identify the characteristics of the self-employed immigrant and native men in Germany and to understand their underlying drive into self-employment. Employing data from the German Socioeconomic Panel 2000 release we find that self-employment is not significantly affected by exposure to Germany or by human capital. But this choice has a very strong intergenerational link and it is also related to homeownership and financial worries. While individuals are strongly pulled into self-employment if it offers higher earnings, immigrants are additionally pushed into self-employment when they feel discriminated. Married immigrants are more likely to go into self-employment, but less likely when they have young children. Immigrants living with foreign passports in ethnic households are more likely self-employed than native Germans. The earnings of self-employed men increase with exposure to Germany, hours worked and occupational prestige; they decrease with high regional unemployment to vacancies ratios. Everything else equal, the earnings of self-employed Germans are not much different from the earnings of the self-employed immigrants, including those who have become German citizens. However, immigrants suffer a strong earnings penalty if they feel discriminated against while they receive a premium if they are German educated.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1440.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Small Business Economics, 2006, 26 (3), 279-300
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1440
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  1. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 1942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Le, Anh T, 1999. " Empirical Studies of Self-Employment," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 381-416, September.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Andrew M. Yuengert, 1995. "Testing Hypotheses of Immigrant Self-Employment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 194-204.
  6. Borooah, Vani K & Hart, Mark, 1999. " Factors Affecting Self-Employment among Indian and Black Caribbean Men in Britain," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 111-29, September.
  7. Magnus Lofstrom, 2002. "Labor market assimilation and the self-employment decision of immigrant entrepreneurs," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 83-114.
  8. 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.
  9. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew & Stutzer, Alois, 2001. "Latent entrepreneurship across nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 680-691, May.
  10. Simon C. Parker, 2003. "Does Tax Evasion Affect Occupational Choice?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(3), pages 379-394, 07.
  11. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
  12. repec:dgr:uvatin:20030046 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Taylor, Mark P, 1996. "Earnings, Independence or Unemployment: Why Become Self-Employed?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(2), pages 253-66, May.
  14. SOEP Group, 2001. "The German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) after More than 15 Years: Overview," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(1), pages 7-14.
  15. 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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