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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Self-Employment and Labor Force Participation of Older Males," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 339-357.
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    3. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-489, October.
    4. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1977. "Education and Screening," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 949-958, December.
    5. Carliner, Geoffrey, 1980. "Wages, Earnings and Hours of First, Second, and Third Generation American Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 87-102, January.
    6. Guillermina Jasso & Mark Rosenzweig, 1986. "Family reunification and the immigration multiplier: U.S. immigration law, origin-country conditions, and the reproduction of immigrants," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 23(3), pages 291-311, August.
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