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Migration, risk attitudes, and entrepreneurship: evidence from a representative immigrant survey

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  • Catia Batista

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  • Janis Umblijs

    ()

Abstract

Do more risk loving migrants opt for self-employment? We use a novel vignette-adjusted measure of risk preferences to investigate the link between risk aversion and entrepreneurship in migrant communities. Using an original representative household survey of the migrant population in the Greater Dublin Area, we find a significant negative relationship between risk aversion and entrepreneurship. Our results show that the use of vignettes improves the significance of the results, as they simultaneously correct for differential item functioning (where respondents interpret the self-evaluation scale in different ways) between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs, and correct for variation in the use of self-evaluation scales between migrants from different countries of origin. This finding may help explaining the variability in results on the correlation between risk preferences and entrepreneurship reported in previous studies. JEL: F22; J01; J15; J61; L26 Copyright Batista and Umblijs.; licensee Springer. 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Catia Batista & Janis Umblijs, 2014. "Migration, risk attitudes, and entrepreneurship: evidence from a representative immigrant survey," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-25, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izamig:v:3:y:2014:i:1:p:1-25:10.1186/s40176-014-0017-4
    DOI: 10.1186/s40176-014-0017-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:04:p:567-583_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jennifer Hunt, 2011. "Which Immigrants Are Most Innovative and Entrepreneurial? Distinctions by Entry Visa," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 417-457.
    3. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
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    5. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2007. "Estimating Risk Attitudes in Denmark: A Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 341-368, June.
    6. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Juergen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Working Papers 2096, The Field Experiments Website.
    7. Juan A. Lacomba & Francisco Lagos, 2010. "Immigration and Pension Benefits in the Host Country," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(306), pages 283-295, April.
    8. Batista, Catia & Umblijs, Janis, 2014. "Do Migrants Send Remittances as a Way of Self-Insurance? Evidence from a Representative Immigrant Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 7984, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Ekelund, Jesper & Johansson, Edvard & Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta & Lichtermann, Dirk, 2005. "Self-employment and risk aversion--evidence from psychological test data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 649-659, October.
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    12. David A. Jaeger & Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Holger Bonin, 2010. "Direct Evidence on Risk Attitudes and Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 684-689, August.
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    14. Parker,Simon C., 2006. "The Economics of Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521030632.
    15. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2008. "Lost In State Space: Are Preferences Stable?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 1091-1112, August.
    16. Arthur van Soest & Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith, 2011. "Validating the use of anchoring vignettes for the correction of response scale differences in subjective questions," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 174(3), pages 575-595, July.
    17. van Praag, C M & Cramer, J S, 2001. "The Roots of Entrepreneurship and Labour Demand: Individual Ability and Low Risk Aversion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(269), pages 45-62, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Batista, Catia & McIndoe Calder, Tara & Vicente, Pedro C., 2014. "Return Migration, Self-Selection and Entrepreneurship in Mozambique," IZA Discussion Papers 8195, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Catia Batista & Ana Isabel Costa, 2016. "Assessing the role of social networks on migrant labor market outcomes: Evidence from a representative immigrant survey," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1601, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, NOVAFRICA.
    3. Catia Batista & Janis Umblijs, 2016. "Do migrants send remittances as a way of self-insurance?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 108-130.
    4. Iranzo Sancho, Susana, 2017. "Immigrants and Entrepreneurship: a Road for Talent or Just the Only Road?," Working Papers 2072/306519, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    5. repec:eee:apmaco:v:320:y:2018:i:c:p:621-632 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:5:p:797-821 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hao, Li & Houser, Daniel & Mao, Lei & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2016. "Migrations, risks, and uncertainty: A field experiment in China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 126-140.
    8. Ken Clark, 2015. "Ethnic minority self-employment," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 120-120, January.
    9. Marina De Angelis & Marcella Corsi & Daniele Frigeri, 2017. "The determinants of entrepreneurship for migrants in Italy. Do Italian migrants become entrepreneurs by “opportunity” or through “necessity”?," Working Papers CEB 17-031, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    10. Catia Batista & Ana Isabel Costa, 2016. "Assessing the role of social networks on migrant labor market outcomes: Evidence from a representative immigrant survey," FEUNL Working Paper Series novaf:wp1601, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Risk aversion; Entrepreneurship; Self-employment;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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