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The Persistence of Self-Employment Across Borders: New Evidence on Legal Immigrants to the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Akee, Randall K. Q.

    () (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Jaeger, David A.

    () (CUNY Graduate Center)

  • Tatsiramos, Konstantinos

    () (University of Luxembourg, LISER)

Abstract

Using recently-available data from the New Immigrant Survey, we find that previous self-employment experience in an immigrant’s country of origin is an important determinant of their self-employment status in the U.S., increasing the probability of being self-employed by about 7 percent. Our results improve on the previous literature by measuring home-country self-employment directly rather than relying on proxy measures. We find little evidence to suggest that home-country self-employment has a significant effect on U.S. wages in either paid employment or self employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Akee, Randall K. Q. & Jaeger, David A. & Tatsiramos, Konstantinos, 2007. "The Persistence of Self-Employment Across Borders: New Evidence on Legal Immigrants to the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3250, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3250
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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 808-827, August.
    2. 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.
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    5. 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.
    6. repec:eme:rleczz:s0147-9121(07)00004-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Borjas, George J & Bronars, Stephen G, 1989. "Consumer Discrimination and Self-employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 581-605, June.
    8. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1978. "Unionism and Wage Rates: A Simultaneous Equations Model with Qualitative and Limited Dependent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 415-433, June.
    9. Jaeger, David A., 2006. "Green Cards and the Location Choices of Immigrants in the United States, 1971-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 2145, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    11. Bates, Timothy, 1995. "Self-employment entry across industry groups," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 143-156, March.
    12. Zissimopoulos, Julie M. & Karoly, Lynn A., 2007. "Transitions to self-employment at older ages: The role of wealth, health, health insurance and other factors," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 269-295, April.
    13. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-506.
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    16. Michael J. Pisani & José A. Pagán, 2004. "Self-employment in the era of the new economic model in Latin America: a case study from Nicaragua," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 335-350, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. de Mello, João M.P. & Waisman, Caio & Zilberman, Eduardo, 2014. "The effects of exposure to hyperinflation on occupational choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 109-123.
    2. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2016. "Immigrant Entrepreneurship," NBER Chapters,in: Measuring Entrepreneurial Businesses: Current Knowledge and Challenges, pages 187-249 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ken Clark, 2015. "Ethnic minority self-employment," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 120-120, January.
    4. Marcus H. Böhme & Sarah Kups, 2017. "The economic effects of labour immigration in developing countries: A literature review," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 335, OECD Publishing.
    5. repec:krk:eberjl:v:3:y:2015:i:3:p:29-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:kap:jinten:v:15:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10843-016-0197-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:kap:sbusec:v:49:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9848-8 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    New Immigrant Survey; entrepreneurship; self-employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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