Low-skilled workers do not fare well in today’s skill intensive economy and their opportunities continue to diminish. Utilizing data from the survey of income and program participation, this paper provides an analysis of the economic returns to business ownership among low-skilled workers and addresses the essential question of whether self-employment is a good option for low-skilled individuals that policymakers might consider encouraging. The analysis reveals substantial differences in the role of self-employment among low-skilled workers across gender and nativity—women and immigrants are shown to be of particular importance from both the perspectives of trends and policy relevance. We find that, although the returns to low-skilled self-employment among men is higher than among women, the analysis shows that wage/salary employment is a more financially rewarding option for most low-skilled workers.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 26, 2011
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