Low-Skilled Immigrant Entrepreneurship
More than half of the foreign born workforce in the U.S. have no schooling beyond high school and about 20 percent of the low-skilled workforce are immigrants. More than 10 percent of these low-skilled immigrants are self-employed. Utilizing longitudinal data from the 1996, 2001 and 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation panels, this paper analyzes the returns to self-employment among low-skilled immigrants. We compare annual earnings and earnings growth of immigrant entrepreneurs to immigrants in wage/salary employment as well as native born business owners. We find that the returns to low-skilled self-employment among immigrants is higher than it is among natives but also that wage/salary employment is a more financially rewarding option for most low-skilled immigrants. An exception is immigrant men, who are found to have higher earnings growth than immigrants in wage/salary employment and are predicted to reach earnings parity after approximately 10 years in business. We also find that most of the 20 percent male native-immigrant earnings gap among low-skilled business owners can be explained primarily by differences in the ethnic composition. Low-skilled female foreign born entrepreneurs are found to have earnings roughly equal to those of self-employed native born women.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2009|
|Publication status:||published in: Review of Economics of the Household, 2011, 9 (1), 25-44|
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References listed on IDEAS
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- 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.
- Lofstrom, Magnus, 1999. "Labor Market Assimilation and the Self-Employment Decision of Immigrant Entrepreneurs," IZA Discussion Papers 54, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Rosen, Harvey S & Weathers, Robert, 2000. "Horatio Alger Meets the Mobility Tables," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 243-274, June.
- David G. Blanchflower, 2004. "Self-Employment: More may not be better," NBER Working Papers 10286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Magnus Lofstrom & Timothy Bates, 2009. "Latina entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 427-439, December.
- Timothy Bates & Lisa Servon, 1998. "Microenterprise As An Exit Route From Poverty:* Recommendations For Programs And Policy Makers," Working Papers 98-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-559, November.
- Scott Shane, 2009. "Why encouraging more people to become entrepreneurs is bad public policy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 141-149, August.
- Magnus Lofstrom, 2013. "Does self-employment increase the economic well-being of low-skilled workers?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 933-952, May.
- Lofstrom, Magnus, 2009. "Does Self-Employment Increase the Economic Well-Being of Low-Skilled Workers?," IZA Discussion Papers 4539, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-535, June.
- Lofstrom, Magnus & Wang, Chunbei, 2006. "Hispanic Self-Employment: A Dynamic Analysis of Business Ownership," IZA Discussion Papers 2101, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Robert Fairlie, 2005. "Entrepreneurship and Earnings among Young Adults from Disadvantaged Families," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 223-236, October.
- Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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