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The Influence of Role Models on Immigrant Self-Employment: A Spatial Analysis for Switzerland

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  • Giuliano Guerra

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

  • Roberto Patuelli

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Bologna, Italy; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis (RCEA), Italy)

Abstract

Theoretical and empirical research suggests a connection between the presence of role models and the emergence of entrepreneurs. Existing entrepreneurs may act as role models for self-employment candidates by providing successful examples. By explicitly considering the self-employment rates of the natives, which may influence locally the decisions of immigrants towards entrepreneurship, we develop a simple model that explains immigrant self-employment rates for a sample of 2,490 Swiss municipalities. In addition, we accommodate for the presence of spatial spillovers in the distribution of rates, and test a spatial autoregressive model which takes into account the average self-employment rates of immigrants living in nearby municipalities. Our evidence shows a significant (positive) effect of such spatial network effects, which are characterized by a quick distance decay, suggesting spatial spillovers at the household and social network level. Additionally, we show that local conditions and immigrant pool characteristics differ, with respect to self-employment choices, when examining separately urban and rural contexts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 29_10.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision: Jan 2012
Publication status: Published in the International Journal of Manpower 35 (1/2): 187-215
Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:29_10

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Keywords: immigrants; self-employment; role models; Switzerland; spatial lag;

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  1. Bruce D. Meyer, 1990. "Why Are There So Few Black Entrepreneurs?," NBER Working Papers 3537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1990. "What Makes an Entrepreneur? Evidence on Inheritance and Capital Constraints," NBER Working Papers 3252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Nathan, Max, 2013. "The Wider Economic Impacts of High-Skilled Migrants: A Survey of the Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7653, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Max Nathan, 2014. "The wider economic impacts of high-skilled migrants: a survey of the literature for receiving countries," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, December.
  3. Annie Tubadji & Peter Nijkamp, 2013. "Cultural Distance and Gravity Effects among Migrants," ERSA conference papers ersa13p484, European Regional Science Association.

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