NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants

George J. Borjas

NBER Working Paper No. 1942
Issued in June 1986
NBER Program(s):   LS

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1942

Published: Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 21, no. 4 (1986): 485-506. citation courtesy of

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