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Hispanic Self-Employment: A Dynamic Analysis of Business Ownership

  • Lofstrom, Magnus

    ()

    (Public Policy Institute of California)

  • Wang, Chunbei

    ()

    (University of Texas at Dallas)

This paper analyzes causes of the low self-employment rates among Hispanics, which are nearly half of non-Hispanic white self-employment rates. Relatively little is known of the reason for the lower entrepreneurship rates among Hispanics, the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. The paper analyzes the self-employment gap by studying self-employment entry and exits, which determine the observed self-employment rates, utilizing nationally representative longitudinal data, the 1996 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). The data reveals differences between Mexican-Hispanics and Hispanics not of Mexican descent, referred to as Other-Hispanics. While Mexican-Hispanics are less likely to enter self-employment, relative to whites, Other-Hispanics are more likely to start a business. The differences however, are relatively small but shown to be meaningful in explaining the white-Hispanic self-employment rate gap. The data show large differences in business survival rates between Hispanics and whites. Mexican-Hispanics are almost twice as likely to exit business ownership in a year compared to whites. Our results indicate that differences in education and financial wealth are important factors in explaining differences in entrepreneurship across groups. We also show that the lower self-employment entry rates among Mexican-Hispanics is due to lower entry rates into business ownership of firms in relatively high barrier industries. In fact, Hispanics are more likely to start-up a business in a low barrier industry than whites. Differences in the industry composition across groups is also discussed and analyzed as a determinant of differences in business survival rates.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2101.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2101
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  1. 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.
  2. Julian R. Betts & Magnus Lofstrom, 2000. "The Educational Attainment of Immigrants: Trends and Implications," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 51-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey Rosen, 1992. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," Working Papers 679, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993. "Sticking it Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 4494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David G. Blanchflower, 2004. "Self-Employment: More may not be better," NBER Working Papers 10286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-59, November.
  10. 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.
  11. Erik Hurst & Annamaria Lusardi, 2004. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 319-347, April.
  12. 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.
  13. Timothy Bates, 1990. "Self-Employment Trends Among Mexican Americans," Working Papers 90-9, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  14. Timothy Bates, 1989. "The changing nature of minority business: A comparative analysis of asian, nonminority, and black-owned businesses," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 25-42, September.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Hiromi Taniguchi, 2002. "Determinants of Women's Entry into Self-Employment," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 83(3), pages 875-893.
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