September 11 and the Rise of Necessity Self-Employment Among Mexican Immigrants

45 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2019

See all articles by Chunbei Wang

Chunbei Wang

University of Texas at Dallas

Magnus Lofstrom

Public Policy Institute of California

Abstract

Since the September 11 attacks (9/11), the U.S. has seen a tightening of immigration policies. Previous studies find that stricter immigration enforcement has the unintended effect of pushing undocumented immigrants into self-employment. This paper builds on the literature to better understand the changes in the types of self-employment among Mexican immigrants triggered by the tightened immigration enforcement after 9/11. Using a difference-in-differences approach, and the recently developed measures by Fairlie and Fossen [2018] to distinguish between necessity and opportunity self-employment, we find that both necessity and opportunity self-employment increased among Mexican immigrants after 9/11. However, the effect is most prominent on necessity self-employment, consistent with the hypothesis that they are pushed into self-employment as a survival alternative.

Keywords: mexican immigrants, self-employment, 9/11, tightened immigration policies, necessity

JEL Classification: J15, L26

Suggested Citation

Wang, Chunbei and Lofstrom, Magnus, September 11 and the Rise of Necessity Self-Employment Among Mexican Immigrants. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12555, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3445821 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3445821

Chunbei Wang (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas ( email )

2601 North Floyd Road
Richardson, TX 75083

Magnus Lofstrom

Public Policy Institute of California

500 Washington Street
Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States

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