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Intrametropolitan Opportunity Structure and the Self-Employment of Asian and Latino Immigrants


  • Cathy Yang Liu

    (Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA)


Using 2000 Census microdata for the Atlanta metropolitan area as a case study, this research investigates the effect of intrametropolitan opportunity structure and local area context, especially spatial structure, urban employment pattern, social environment, and ethnic concentration, on Asian and Latino immigrants’ incidence of self-employment. These two groups grew rapidly both in the total labor force and among the self-employed in Atlanta. It is found that living in central city and inner-ring suburbs depresses Latino immigrants’ entrepreneurial activities. The growth of trade jobs and concentration of immigrants in a local area both give rise to immigrant entrepreneurship. Results suggest that traditional theories such as disadvantage theory need to be reassessed in the context of new immigrant gateways, while the ethnic enclave hypothesis is still validated. Potential policies to promote immigrant entrepreneurship are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Cathy Yang Liu, 2012. "Intrametropolitan Opportunity Structure and the Self-Employment of Asian and Latino Immigrants," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 26(2), pages 178-192, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:26:y:2012:i:2:p:178-192

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    Cited by:

    1. Cathy Yang Liu & Gary Painter & Qingfang Wang, 2015. "Immigrant entrepreneurship and agglomeration in high-tech industries in the USA," Chapters,in: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy, chapter 8, pages 184-209 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Zhu, Pengyu & Liu, Cathy Yang & Painter, Gary, 2014. "Does residence in an ethnic community help immigrants in a recession?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 112-127.
    3. Eric Fong & James Jeong & Alice Hoe & Siyue Tian, 2015. "Earnings of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Paid Workers in Canadian Gateway and Non-gateway Metropolises," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 34(2), pages 279-305, April.


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