Immigrants, visible minorities, and self-employment

Abstract

Historically, self-employment was perceived as a mechanism whereby immigrants could circumvent discriminatory practices in wage labor. More recent research by Borjas in the United States, however, suggests that this view is incorrect. Immigrants, particularly members of visible minorities, are disadvantaged in both the wage labor and the self-employed markets. This pattern has not been replicated in Canada, however; after controlling for several socioeconomic attributes, it is found that foreign-born, self-employed visible minority-group members are not at a disadvantage in relation to the majority population. Foreign-born visible minority group members earn less, however, in the wage labor force. In contrast, it was found that there is no statistically significant difference between native-born visible minority group members and others in the wage labor force, and that native-born, self-employed minority-group members may earn more than others in that market segment.

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Correspondence to Paul S. Maxim.

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The author would like to thank Carl Grindstaff, Edward Ebanks, the anonymous reviewers, and, in particular, the editor of Demography for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Needless to say, any remaining deficiencies reside with the author.

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Maxim, P.S. Immigrants, visible minorities, and self-employment. Demography 29, 181–198 (1992). https://doi.org/10.2307/2061726

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Keywords

  • Wage Earner
  • Wage Labor
  • Visible Minority
  • Protected Market
  • Visible Minority Status