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Mexican Entrepreneurship: A Comparison of Self-Employment in Mexico and the United States

  • Fairlie, Robert W.

    ()

    (University of California, Santa Cruz)

  • Woodruff, Christopher

    ()

    (University of Warwick)

Nearly a quarter of Mexico's workforce is self employed. In the United States, however, rates of self employment among Mexican Americans are only 6 percent, about half the rate among non-Latino whites. Using data from the Mexican and U.S. population census, we show that neither industrial composition nor differences in the age and education of Mexican born populations residing in Mexico and the U.S. accounts for the differences in the self employment rates in the two countries. Within the United States, however, estimates indicate that low levels of education and the youth of Mexican immigrants residing in the United States account for roughly half of the Mexican immigrant/U.S. total difference in self-employment rates for men and the entire difference for women. We also find some suggestive evidence that for both men and women, Mexican immigrant self-employment rates may be higher for those who reside in the United States legally and are fluent in English, and for men, those who live in ethnic enclaves.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp2039.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2039.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: G. Borjas (ed.), Mexican Immigration in the United States, NBER-C, 2007, 123-158
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2039
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  1. Andrew M. Yuengert, 1995. "Testing Hypotheses of Immigrant Self-Employment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 194-204.
  2. Robert W. Fairlie & Alicia Robb, 2007. "Families, Human Capital, and Small Business: Evidence from the Characteristics of Business Owners Survey," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(2), pages 225-245, January.
  3. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 2003. "The Effect of Immigration on Native Self-Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 619-650, July.
  4. Dunn, Thomas & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment: Evidence from Intergenerational Links," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 282-305, April.
  5. Gollin, Douglas, 2008. "Nobody's business but my own: Self-employment and small enterprise in economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 219-233, March.
  6. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Rosen, Harvey S & Weathers, Robert, 2000. " Horatio Alger Meets the Mobility Tables," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 243-74, June.
  7. Antonio Spilimbergo & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "Illegal Immigration, Border Enforcement, and Relative Wages: Evidence from Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico Border," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1337-1357, December.
  8. McManus, Walter & Gould, William & Welch, Finis, 1983. "Earnings of Hispanic Men: The Role of English Language Proficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 101-30, April.
  9. 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.
  10. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
  11. Michael Hout & Harvey S. Rosen, 1999. "Self-Employment, Family Background, and Race," NBER Working Papers 7344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Fairlie, Robert W, 1999. "The Absence of the African-American Owned Business: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Self-Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 80-108, January.
  13. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 1942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2004. "Language Skills and Earnings: Evidence from Childhood Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 481-496, May.
  15. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  16. Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2002. "Coming out of the Shadows: Learning about Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 598-628, July.
  17. Bernard F. Lentz & David N. Laband, 1990. "Entrepreneurial Success and Occupational Inheritance among Proprietors," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 563-79, August.
  18. Dustmann, Christian & van Soest, Arthur, 1998. "Language and the Earnings of Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 2012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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