Doctoral thesis

Determinants of immigrant self-employment rates and self-employment transitions : evidence from Switzerland


132 p

Thèse de doctorat: Università della Svizzera italiana, 2012 (jury note: summa cum laude)

English The thesis focuses on the determinants of immigrant self-employment rates and self-employment transitions. The research is divided into three chapters. The focus of the first essay is on the effects of group characteristics and market conditions on self-employment propensity of immigrants. The results show that group characteristics such as linguistic ability and time elapsed since immigration, as well as market conditions such as the ethnic concentration of immigrants and the overall level of unemployment, matter in determining the local level of entrepreneurship among immigrants. The second essay focuses on the relevance of spatial spillovers in entrepreneurial aggregate decision outcomes. The results show that the presence of native entrepreneurs within local units, as well as the presence of immigrant entrepreneurs living in adjacent communities, provide successful examples (role models) for immigrant entrepreneurship. Finally, the analysis narrows down on the effects of job (dis-) satisfaction on the propensity to transit into self-employment, given a previous wage employment status. The results given in the third essay show that job satisfaction variables significantly affect the probabilities of both self-employment entries and job quits. Those who choose self-employment tend to do so in reaction to low levels of pecuniary satisfaction, while job quitters are more reactive to nonpecuniary dissatisfaction.
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