Small Business Economics

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 261-276

Intergenerational transmissions in immigrant self-employment: Evidence from three generations

  • Lina AnderssonAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Växjö University Email author 
  • , Mats HammarstedtAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Växjö University

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This paper presents the first study of intergenerational transmissions in immigrant self-employment across three generations. Based on a Swedish data set, the results show that having a self-employed father, as well as having a self-employed grandfather, has a positive effect on self-employment propensities for male third-generation immigrants. For native Swedes having a self-employed father is of importance for self-employment propensities, while having a self-employed grandfather is not. Evidently, there appears to be a generational link in self-employment across three generations for immigrants, but not for natives. Since immigrants transfer general self-employment abilities, third-generation immigrants with self-employed ancestors are over-represented in self-employment. Many of them, however, are not necessarily in the same business line as their fathers. In contrast, when natives transfer general self-employment abilities, their offspring tend to become self-employed in the same business line as their fathers.


Self-employment Intergenerational transmission Immigrants

JEL Classifications

J15 J24 J61 J62 L26