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Self-Employment Differentials among Foreign-Born STEM and Non-STEM Workers

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  • Cai, Zhengyu
  • Winters, John V.

Abstract

This paper uses the American Community Survey to examine the previously overlooked fact that foreign STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) graduates have much lower self-employment rates than their non-STEM counterparts, with an unconditional difference of 3.3 percentage points. We find empirical support for differing earnings opportunities as a partial explanation for this self-employment gap. High wages in STEM paid-employment combined with reduced earnings in self-employment make self-employment less desirable for STEM graduates. High self-employment rates among other foreign-born workers partially reflect weak paid-employment opportunities. Public policy should encourage efficient use of worker skills rather than low-value business venture creation.

Suggested Citation

  • Cai, Zhengyu & Winters, John V., 2017. "Self-Employment Differentials among Foreign-Born STEM and Non-STEM Workers," GLO Discussion Paper Series 49, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:49
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    Cited by:

    1. Shiri M. Breznitz & Qiantao Zhang, 2020. "Determinants of graduates’ entrepreneurial activity," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 55(4), pages 1039-1056, December.
    2. Zhengyu Cai & Heather M. Stephens & John V. Winters, 2019. "Motherhood, migration, and self-employment of college graduates," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 611-629, October.
    3. Podobnik, Boris & Christopher Crawford, G. & Lichtenstein, Benyamin & Lipic, Tomislav & Wild, Dorian & Zhang, Xin & Stanley, H. Eugene, 2020. "The new wealth of nations: How STEM fields generate the prosperity and inequality of individuals, companies, and countries," Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    4. Shiri M. Breznitz & Qiantao Zhang, 0. "Determinants of graduates’ entrepreneurial activity," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-18.
    5. Liu, Jingting & Zhu, Ying & Serapio, Manuel & Cavusgil, S. Tamer, 2019. "The new generation of millennial entrepreneurs: A review and call for research," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 1-1.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    self-employment; immigration; foreign-born; college major; STEM; earnings;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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