Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The effect of culture on self-employment

Marcén, Miriam (2013): The effect of culture on self-employment.

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Abstract

This work examines the effect of cultural differences on self-employment. All the individuals considered in the analysis are second-generation immigrants who were born and live under the same laws and institutions in the US. Following an epidemiological approach, the variation in self-employment rates by ancestors’ national origin can be considered as supporting evidence of the effect of culture on self-employment. Our results show that culture has quantitatively significant effects on self-employment. This finding is robust to alternative specifications and to the introduction of several controls. Additional analysis shows that there are differences in the impact of culture on self-employment by gender, in that men are more sensitive than women to culture; and by economic activity, in that those individuals involved in professional, scientific, and technical activities, and those in accommodation and food service activities, are more affected by the impact of cultural differences. We also examine the transmission of culture, observing an important role of the inter-generational transfer of culture, although the impact of culture on self-employment diminishes from generation to generation.

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