Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Heather Antecol

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This paper investigates the effect of culture and home country self-employment rates on immigrant self-employment in the United States, post-migration. This study analyzes the effects for both men and women, focusing on the gender gap in self-employment. The empirical results show that home country effects have a small impact on self-employment, but most of this relationship is unexplained. Because the explanatory power of home country effects is so low, it is unlikely that culture significantly influences self-employment. I find that, contrary to my hypotheses, women from countries with high female self-employment rates are likely to see a larger decrease in self-employment than their male counterparts or women from countries with lower self-employment rates. The gender gap in self-employment increases in the U.S. because self-employment declines more for women than men. However, I do find that men from countries with high male self-employment will also see a larger decline in self-employment than men from other countries. Thus, I reject the home country self-employment hypothesis with regards to women and men. I find some evidence that immigrant self-employment rates are more related to stage of economic development in the host country than culture in the home country.


  • Best Senior Thesis in the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship