Self-Employment Rates of Asian Immigrant Groups: An Analysis of Intragroup and Intergroup Differences

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Sage Publications


Self-employment rates and related business activities of four groups of recent adult Asian immigrants (Koreans, Chinese, Asian Indians, and Vietnamese) are empirically examined with the 1990 census data. As expected, both intra- and intergroup differences in self-employment rates are observed among the four groups. Korean immigrants are sharply different from other Asian immigrant groups in their rate of self-employment and pattern of intragroup differences in self-employment rates. As a whole, for non-Korean Asian immigrant groups, intragroup differences in self-employment rates can be explained by the interactive model and by the related issue of immigrants' labor market disadvantage in the United States. To some extent, the interactive model also offers a useful framework to explain Korean immigrants' rate of self-employment. But the pattern of their intragroup difference is better explained by the linkage between their businesses and their home country economies reflecting the international dimension of immigrant small business entrepreneurship. Implications of the findings of intra- and intergroup differences observed among the four groups are discussed.