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

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Author Info

  • 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 The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 11_10.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision: Aug 2011
Publication status: Published in: P. Nijkamp, J. Poot and M. Sahin (eds) Migration Impact Assessment: New Horizons. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham Northampton, pp. 147-71
Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:11_10

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

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References

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  1. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1983. "Labor Market Discrimination against Hispanic and Black Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 570-79, November.
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  4. Roberto Patuelli & Daniel A. Griffith & Michael Tiefelsdorf & Peter Nijkamp, 2009. "Spatial Filtering and Eigenvector Stability: Space-Time Models for German Unemployment Data," Quaderni della facoltà di Scienze economiche dell'Università di Lugano 0902, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
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  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-506.
  14. 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.
  15. Andrew M. Yuengert, 1995. "Testing Hypotheses of Immigrant Self-Employment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 194-204.
  16. Gross, Dominique M., 2006. "Immigration policy and foreign population in Switzerland," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3853, The World Bank.
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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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