Numerous theoretical frameworks have been used to explain factors that influence outcomes of poor families engaged in self-employment. Theories related to human capital, social capital, and financial assets have guided most studies. Using data from fourteen institutions promoting self-employment among the poor, and drawing on the institutional theory, this study finds that theories related to individual influences do not adequately explain all the phenomenon.Controlling for a wide range of individual characteristics, there is a statistically significant association between institutional influences and participants’ outcomes. Policy makers should consider a range of institutional characteristics when designing policies and programs aimed at promoting self-employment among poor families.
Project: American Dream Policy Demonstration (ADD)
Ssewamala, F. M., & Sherraden, M. (2004). Integrating savings into microenterprise programs for the poor: Do institutions matter? (CSD Working Paper No. 04-05). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.