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Self-employment amongst migrant groups: new evidence from England and Wales


  • Ken Clark

    (University of Manchester

  • Stephen Drinkwater

    () (IZA
    University of Roehampton
    CReAM, UCL)

  • Catherine Robinson

    (University of Kent)


Abstract Self-employment constitutes a vital part of the economy since entrepreneurs can provide employment not only for themselves but also for others. The link between self-employment and immigration is, however, complex, especially given the changing nature of self-employment. We investigate the evolving relationship between self-employment and immigration using recently released microdata from the 2011 Census for England and Wales. Our findings indicate large variations, with high self-employment rates observed for some groups with a long established history of migration to the UK (especially men born in Pakistan) and also for some groups who have arrived more recently (such as from the EU’s new member states). We further explore the differences, analyse variations by gender and identify key determining factors. In addition to certain socio-economic characteristics, it is found that migration-related influences, such as English language proficiency and period of arrival in the UK, play an important role for some groups.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:48:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9804-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-016-9804-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

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