What makes a Mexican-American entrepreneur successful?


Joseph Wyer

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Latinos are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the country (50% between 1990 and 2000) and their business ownership increased 31% from 1997 to 2000. However their earnings are much lower than those of white business owners. Many economists believe than Mexican immigrants are facing other issues as a result of their lower income. These include less political representation, evidence of discrimination and overall poverty. So far research into comparing Mexican and White business success is not common. Economists have suggested that ?an important issue for future research is to assess whether there are differences in the success of self-employed Mexican-Hispanics and whites??. In my research I take the personal and business characteristics (such as financial capital and education) of the entrepreneur and attempt to predict their income using regression analysis. The regression will use data from a survey done by Occidental students last year and also sample census data taken from IPUMS (Integrated Public Use Microdata Series) which is a 1% sample of the US Census. The surveys and census data include characteristics that can theoretically be seen as factors of success for an entrepreneur like experience, financial capital, education, English proficiency and others. If these characteristics are found to have a strong effect on earnings then policies could be enacted that are aimed to increase earnings by augmenting these assets.


Mary Lopez




The Paul K. and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Trusts - Summer Fellowship

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