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Immigration, In-Migration, Ethnicity and Entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom


  • Jonathan Levie



This paper develops and tests hypotheses concerning the effect of migrant status and ethnicity on propensity to engage in entrepreneurship (defined as new business activity) at the individual level in the UK. The hypotheses are tested using bivariate analysis (Pearson tests of independence) and multivariate analysis (binary logistic regression). Bivariate analysis suggests that new business activity varies with migrant status and ethnicity. Multivariate analysis suggests that migration increases the odds of engaging in new business activity, that the independent effect of ethnicity is marginal, and that being a recent ethnic minority migrant decreases the odds, after controlling for other individual level factors. At the regional level, a preliminary analysis suggests that gross migration flow has a higher correlation with new business activity than other commonly used regional demographic or economic development measures. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Levie, 2007. "Immigration, In-Migration, Ethnicity and Entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 143-169, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:28:y:2007:i:2:p:143-169
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-006-9013-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mesch, Gustavo S. & Czamanski, Daniel, 1997. "Occupational closure and immigrant entrepreneurship: Russian Jews in Israel," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 597-610.
    2. Wagner, Joachim, 2004. "Nascent Entrepreneurs," IZA Discussion Papers 1293, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Büchel, Felix & Frick, Joachim R., 2000. "The Income Portfolio of Immigrants in Germany - Effects of Ethnic Origin and Assimilation Or: Who Gains from Income Re-Distribution?," IZA Discussion Papers 125, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    5. King, Gary & Zeng, Langche, 2001. "Explaining Rare Events in International Relations," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(03), pages 693-715, June.
    6. Paul D. Reynolds & Nancy M. Carter & William B. Gartner & Patricia G. Greene, 2004. "The Prevalence of Nascent Entrepreneurs in the United States: Evidence from the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 263-284, November.
    7. Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2005. "Job Search Methods and Their Success: A Comparison of Immigrants and Natives in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 359-376, November.
    8. Glover, Stephen & Gott, Ceri & Loizillon, Anaïs & Portes, Jonathan & Price, Richard & Spencer, Sarah & Srinivasan, Vasanthi & Willis, Carole, 2001. "Migration: an economic and social analysis," MPRA Paper 75900, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Geroski, P. A., 1995. "What do we know about entry?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 421-440, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Stuetzer & Martin Obschonka & Udo Brixy & Rolf Sternberg & Uwe Cantner, 2014. "Regional characteristics, opportunity perception and entrepreneurial activities," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 221-244, February.
    2. 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).
    3. Vandor, Peter & Franke, Nikolaus, 2016. "See Paris and… found a business? The impact of cross-cultural experience on opportunity recognition capabilities," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 388-407.
    4. Theodore Lianos & Anastasia Pseiridis, 2009. "On the occupational choices of return migrants," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 155-181, March.
    5. Nadia Simoes & Nuno Crespo & Sandrina B. Moreira, 2016. "Individual Determinants Of Self-Employment Entry: What Do We Really Know?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 783-806, September.
    6. repec:gem:wpaper:1201 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Huggins Robert & Thompson Piers, 2012. "Entrepreneurship and Community Culture: A Place-Based Study of Their Interdependency," Entrepreneurship Research Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-36, January.
    8. repec:kap:sbusec:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9796-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Sierdjan Koster & Charlie Karlsson, 2010. "New Firm Formation and Economic Development in a Globalizing Economy," Chapters,in: Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Bruder, Jana & Neuberger, Doris & Räthke-Döppner, Solvig, 2008. "Financial constraints of ethnic entrepreneurship: Evidence from Germany," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 84, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    11. Clark, Ken & Drinkwater, Stephen & Robinson, Catherine, 2015. "Self?Employment amongst Migrant Groups in England and Wales: New Evidence from Census Microdata," IZA Discussion Papers 9539, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Mediha Sahin & Alina Todiras & Peter Nijkamp & Enno Masurel, 2012. "Economic performance of migrant entrepreneurs in the high-tech sector: design and application of the GALAXY model," Chapters,in: Migration Impact Assessment, chapter 7, pages 227-260 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Dimitratos, Pavlos & Buck, Trevor & Fletcher, Margaret & Li, Nicolas, 2016. "The motivation of international entrepreneurship: The case of Chinese transnational entrepreneurs," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 1103-1113.
    14. Muhammad Naveed Anwar & Elizabeth M. Daniel, 2017. "Ethnic entrepreneurs and online home-based businesses: an exploratory study," Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, Springer;UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship, vol. 7(1), pages 1-21, December.
    15. Chantal Hartog & Brigitte Hoogendoorn & Sophie Bacq & Jan Lepoutre, 2011. "Social and commercial entrepreneurship: Exploring individual and organizational characteristics," Scales Research Reports H201110, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    16. Obschonka, Martin & Stuetzer, Michael & Gosling, Samuel D. & Rentfrow, Peter J. & Lamb, Michael E. & Potter, Jeff & Audretsch, David B., 2015. "Entrepreneurial Regions: do macro-psychological Cultural Characteristics of Regions help solve the “Knowledge Paradox” of Economics?," MPRA Paper 65202, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Ilhan-Nas, Tulay & Sahin, Kader & Cilingir, Zuhal, 2011. "International ethnic entrepreneurship: Antecedents, outcomes and environmental context," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 614-626.
    18. Ken Clark & Stephen Drinkwater & Catherine Robinson, 2017. "Self-employment amongst migrant groups: new evidence from England and Wales," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 1047-1069, April.
    19. Isidoro Romero & Zhikun Yu, 2015. "Analyzing the influence of social capital on self-employment: a study of Chinese immigrants," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 54(3), pages 877-899, May.
    20. Kim, Younghwan & Kim, Wonjoon & Yang, Taeyong, 2012. "The effect of the triple helix system and habitat on regional entrepreneurship: Empirical evidence from the U.S," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 154-166.
    21. Claudia Álvarez & David Urbano & José Amorós, 2014. "GEM research: achievements and challenges," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 445-465, March.

    More about this item


    entrepreneurship; migration; ethnicity; immigration; F22; J15; M13; O18; O52; L26.;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe


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