This paper investigates the traits of the self-employed entrepreneurs in urban China, an economy rife with informational and institutional imperfections, under-developed financial markets, but a growing and important non-state sector. The self-employed make on average 20% more than non-entrepreneurs, but are similar in their age, marital status, educational attainment, and socio-economic background. Fewer are Communist Party members and more have experienced unemployment. Social networks are significant in entrepreneurship, while women and older workers are less likely to become self-employed unless they have experienced unemployment. Motivation and drive, as do attitudes toward risk, are also determinative factors.
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