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Race, Trust in Government, and Self-Employment

Gregory N. Price

The American Economist, 2012, vol. 57, issue 2, 171-187

Abstract: This paper examines the effects of trust in government on the self-employment decision. For black Americans the decision to be self-employed, and the associated returns are likely to be particularly sensitive to trust in the federal government, as the history and political economy of race in the United States required federal government to introduce laws, legislation and institutions to alter the future behavior of whites in their market interactions with blacks. Utilizing General Social Survey Data, I find that among the self-employed, race—being black—is a negative determinant of various measures of trust and confidence in federal government. Parameter estimates from a Bivariate Probit estimator of the likelihood of black self-employment and income reveal that both increase with respect to several measures of trust and confidence in the federal government. The results suggest that as the relative growth and performance of black self-employment is trust and confidence sensitive, the underrepresentation of black-owned firms can possibly be explained by the relatively low trust and confidence in the federal government among black Americans.

Keywords: Social Capital; Trust; Discrimination; Self-Employment; Black Entrepreneurs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:amerec:v:57:y:2012:i:2:p:171-187

DOI: 10.1177/056943451205700203

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