IZA DP No. 3997: Latina Entrepreneurship
published in: Small Business Economics, 2009, 33 (4), 427-439
We utilize individual panel data from the 1996 and 2001 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to analyze the relative success of self-employed female Hispanics. To allow for a meaningful comparison of earnings between self-employed and wage/salary employed women, we generate different earnings measures addressing the role of business equity. We compare earnings of Hispanic female entrepreneurs to both Latina wage/salary workers and to self-employed female non-Hispanic whites. Latina entrepreneurs are observed to have lower mean earnings than both white female entrepreneurs and Latina employees. However, our findings indicate that Latina entrepreneurs often do well, once differences in mean observable characteristics, such as education, are taken into account. Self-employed Latinas are estimated to earn more than observationally similar nonminority white female entrepreneurs and slightly less than observationally similar Latinas in wage/salary work.