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The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants

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  • George J. Borjas

Abstract

Self-employment is an important aspect of the immigrant experience in the labor market. Self-employment rates for immigrants exceed 15 percent for some national groups. This paper addresses three related questions on the self-employment experience of immigrants. First, how do self-employment rates of immigrants compare to those of native-born men? Second, is there an "assimilation" effect on the self-employment propensity of immigrants? Finally, are the more recent waves of immigrants facing different self-employment opportunities than the earlier waves? Using the 1970 and 1980 U.S. Censuses, the analysis shows that indeed self-employment rates of immigrants exceed those of native-born men; that there is a strong, positive impact of assimilation on self-employment rates; and that more recent waves of immigrants are opting with increasing frequency for the self-employment option.

Suggested Citation

  • George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 1942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1942
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