Entrepreneurship of the Left-Behind

28 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2013

See all articles by Corrado Giulietti

Corrado Giulietti

Department of Economics

Jackline Wahba

University of Southampton, Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Harvard University; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); University of Bonn; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)


While there is evidence that return migration promotes entrepreneurship and self-employment of those who migrated, previous studies have not focused on whether migration provides the same benefits to individuals who did not migrate. Using a unique dataset that provides information on both current and return migrants in rural China (RUMiC), we investigate the impact of migration on entrepreneurship among individuals with no migration experience. We explore the self-employment choices of individuals who live in households with return migrants and individuals who live in households that have migrants currently in the city, comparing them with individuals living in non-migrant households. Our methodology allows us to control for the potential endogeneity between the migration and self-employment decisions.The results show that return migration promotes self-employment among household members that have not migrated. However, left-behind individuals are less likely to be self-employed when compared to those living in non-migrant households.

Keywords: rural to urban migration, RUMiC dataset, self-employment

JEL Classification: J23, J61, O15

Suggested Citation

Giulietti, Corrado and Wahba, Jackline and Zimmermann, Klaus F., Entrepreneurship of the Left-Behind. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7270. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2238303

Corrado Giulietti (Contact Author)

Department of Economics ( email )

University Rd.
Southampton SO17 1BJ, Hampshire SO17 1LP
United Kingdom

Jackline Wahba

University of Southampton, Department of Economics ( email )

Southampton, SO171BJ
United Kingdom
+44 23 8059 3996 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/jackiewahba/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Mohrenstra├če 58
Berlin, 10117

University of Bonn

Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

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