Indigenous ethnicity and entrepreneurial success in Africa : some evidence from Ethiopia
Researchers have recently been asking why Asian and European minorities in Africa seem to be more successful in business than are people of indigenous ethnicity. The author draws attention to the significant disparity in business ownership and performance that seems to exist among African ethnic groups as well. After analyzing a random selection of small to medium-size manufacturers in Ethiopia, he finds that establishments owned by an indigenous minority ethnic group, the Gurage, typically perform better than those owned by other (major or minority) groups. Other things being equal, Gurage-owned businesses are normally large, partly because they are bigger as start-ups and partly because they grow faster. And yet Gurage business owners are the least educated ethnic group in the sample. Because the size and growth rate of a business also increases with the entrepreneur's education, the performance of other businesses would have been even worse if their owners hadn't been better educated than the Gurage. Indeed, dropping education variables from the size determination equation drastically reduces the estimated advantage of Gurage-run businesses. This suggests that the observed effect of ethnicity could be indicative of intergroup differences in unmeasured ability. More important, it means that whether or not the effect will persist in the long run will depend on the trend in interethnic differences in investment in education.
|Date of creation:||31 Jan 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Martin, John P & Page, John M, Jr, 1983. "The Impact of Subsidies on X-Efficiency in LDC Industry: Theory and an Empirical Test," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 608-17, November.
- Evans, David S, 1987.
"Tests of Alternative Theories of Firm Growth,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 657-74, August.
- Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-59, November.
- Fairlie, Robert, 2014.
"Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations,"
Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt24p7v6gc, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
- 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.
- Hall, Bronwyn H, 1987.
"The Relationship between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector,"
Journal of Industrial Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 583-606, June.
- Bronwyn H. Hall, 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," NBER Working Papers 1965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey Rosen, 1993.
"Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints,"
698, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1994. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 53-75, February.
- Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993. "Sticking it Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 4494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Vijaya Ramachandran & Manju Kedia Shah, 1999. "Minority entrepreneurs and firm performance in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 71-87.
- Fafchamps, Marcel, 2000. "Ethnicity and credit in African manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 205-235, February.
- Raturi, Mayank & Swamy, Anand V, 1999. "Explaining Ethnic Differentials in Credit Market Outcomes in Zimbabwe," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(3), pages 585-604, April.
- Bernard F. Lentz & David N. Laband, 1990. "Entrepreneurial Success and Occupational Inheritance among Proprietors," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 563-79, August.
- Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2534. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.