Testing the Survivalist Entrepreneurship Model

Posted: 1 Dec 2009

See all articles by Catherine A Fitch

Catherine A Fitch

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Samuel L, Jr Myers

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

The article, "Survivalist Entrepreneurship Among Urban Blacks During the Great Depression: A Test of the Disadvantage Theory of Business Enterprise" (2000) by Robert L. Boyd is critiqued. Boyd attempted to show that joblessness during the Depression caused urban U.S. blacks to develop an identity as "survivalist entrepreneurs" and to become self employed in their own small businesses in order to overcome the disadvantages of the labor markets. Using data from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, Boyd's model was re-estimated and several problems were found with Boyd's assumptions and handling of data. Boyd assumed that employment as managers in retail stores and restaurants and other professionals such as cosmeticians was a valid proxy for self-employment. However, the re-analysis showed that this assumption was incorrect; most of those self-employed were not members of these occupations. Also, data aggregation bias marred Boyd's conclusion that there is a large gender gap in employment ratios for blacks, because he falsely inferred information about individuals from city results. Thus, the re-analysis of Boyd's model found no support for his survivalist hypothesis.(LMH)

Keywords: Depression Era, African Americans, Employment rates, Self-employment

Suggested Citation

Fitch, Catherine A and Myers, Samuel L, Jr, Testing the Survivalist Entrepreneurship Model (2000). Social Science Quarterly, Vol. 81, Issue 4, p. 985-991 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1513136

Catherine A Fitch (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Samuel L, Jr Myers

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
723
PlumX Metrics