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Ethnic Concentration, Cultural Identity and Immigrant Self-Employment in Switzerland

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  • Giuliano Guerra

    ()
    (Institute for Economic Research (IRE), University of Lugano, Switzerland)

  • Roberto Patuelli

    ()
    (Institute for Economic Research (IRE), University of Lugano, Switzerland; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis (RCEA), Italy)

  • Rico Maggi

    ()
    (Institute for Economic Research (IRE), University of Lugano, Switzerland)

Abstract

Immigrant self-employment rates vary considerably across regions in Switzerland. Business ownership seems to provide an alternative to wage labour, where immigrants have to face structural barriers such as the limited knowledge of the local language, or difficulties in fruitfully making use of their own human capital. Despite the historically high unemployment rates with respect to natives, immigrants in Switzerland are less entrepreneurial. It is therefore important to uncover the determinants that may facilitate the transition from the status of immigrant to the one of economic agent. Among others factors, concentration in ethnic enclaves, as well as accumulated labour market experience and time elapsed since immigration, have been associated to higher business ownership rates. In this paper we use a cross-section of 2,490 Swiss municipalities in order to investigate the role played by the ethnic concentration of immigrants, as well as cultural factors, in determining self-employment rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by USI Università della Svizzera italiana in its series Quaderni della facoltà di Scienze economiche dell'Università di Lugano with number 1008.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lug:wpaper:1008

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Web page: https://www.bul.sbu.usi.ch

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Keywords: self-employment; immigrants; Switzerland; ethnic concentration; cultural identity;

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  1. Andrew M. Yuengert, 1995. "Testing Hypotheses of Immigrant Self-Employment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 194-204.
  2. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
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  8. Fairlie, Robert, 2014. "Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt24p7v6gc, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  9. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 1942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Clark, Kenneth & Drinkwater, Stephen, 2000. "Pushed out or pulled in? Self-employment among ethnic minorities in England and Wales," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 603-628, September.
  11. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-506.
  12. Daniela Glocker & Viktor Steiner, 2007. "Self-Employment - a Way to End Unemployment?: Empirical Evidence from German Pseudo-Panel Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 661, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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  15. Gross, Dominique M., 2006. "Immigration policy and foreign population in Switzerland," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3853, The World Bank.
  16. Niels G. Noorderhaven & Sander Wennekers & Geert Hofstede & A. Roy Thurik & Ralph E. Wildeman, 1999. "Self-Employment out of Dissatisfaction: An International Study," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-089/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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Cited by:
  1. Giuliano Guerra & Roberto Patuelli, 2012. "The Role of Job Satisfaction in Transitions into Self-Employment," Working Paper Series 63_12, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jul 2014.

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