Academicians and policymakers have argued that entrepreneurship provides a route out of poverty and an alternative to unemployment or discrimination in the labor market. Existing research, however, provides little evidence from longitudinal data on the relationship between business ownership and economic advancement for disadvantaged groups. I use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) to examine the earnings of young business owners from disadvantaged families and make comparisons to young wage/salary workers from disadvantaged families. For young men from disadvantaged families, I find some evidence that self-employed business owners earn more than wage/salary workers. In contrast, I find that for young women from disadvantaged families business owners earn less than wage/salary workers. The results from these earnings comparisons are somewhat sensitive to the use of different measures of income and econometric models.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 21, 2003
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