Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 555–577 | Cite as

Transmission of self-employment across immigrant generations: the importance of ethnic background and gender

  • Lina Andersson
  • Mats Hammarstedt


This paper studies the intergenerational transmissions of self-employment abilities among immigrants in Sweden. The results show that second-generation immigrants are over-represented in self-employment compared to natives. Male immigrants from countries neighbouring to Sweden and natives alike seem to use both mothers and fathers as role models in their self-employment decision, but the father is the stronger role model among male immigrants from more geographically distant regions. Female immigrants use both their father and their mother as role models in their self-employment decision. Furthermore, male immigrants and male natives tend to become self-employed in the same business sector as their fathers; female immigrants and female natives with self-employed parents are over-represented in self-employment but not necessarily in the same business sector as their parents.


Self-employment Abilities Immigrants Intergenerational transmission 

JEL Classification

J15 J24 J61 J62 L26 



This paper is part of the project “Intergenerational redistribution among immigrants—Does that explain self-employment and local labour market differences” financed by the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS). Financial support is gratefully acknowledged. We are grateful for valuable comments from the editor Shoshana Grossbard, from two anonymous referees, from Erik Mellander and Ali M. Ahmed, from seminar participants at Linnaeus University, from participants at the SNEE-conference in Mölle 2010 as well as from participants at the SABE-conference in San Diego 2010.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and StatisticsLinnaeus UniversityVäxjöSweden

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