A Comparison of Self-Employment in Mexico and the United States
This chapter explores several possible explanations of the lower rates of self-employment among Mexican immigrants in the United States. One possibility is that self-employment propensities of Mexican immigrants may be lower because the socioeconomic characteristics of Mexican workers in the United States differ systematically from those of Mexican workers who remain in Mexico. However, the differences in observed characteristics (such as education and age) between the two groups explain little of the gap between self-employment rates in Mexico and self-employment rates among Mexicans in the United States. Although the industrial distribution of workers differs between the two countries, these differences cannot account for the self-employment gap. The analysis suggests instead that barriers created by English language difficulties and legalization status may help to explain part of the relatively low rates of self-employment among Mexican immigrants.
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