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Cross-border informal entrepreneurs across the South Texas--Northern Mexico boundary


  • Michael J. Pisani
  • Chad Richardson


The border acts as a conduit for some, a funnel for others and as a barrier for many engaged in economic and entrepreneurial activities in South Texas (US) and Northern Mexico. Within this border zone, there are many informal entrepreneurs who actively use the border not only as a wedge against the competition, but also as a lever to gain competitive advantage. Utilizing both qualitative (600 ethnographic interviews) and quantitative (526 survey respondents) research methods, we examine informal cross-border entrepreneurs within the South Texas--Northern Mexico border corridor. Our most salient empirical results indicate: (1) the undocumented are nearly nine times more likely to be engaged in informal cross-border economic activity than US citizens and (2) those informals who possess at least one business permit to operate on either side of the border were two to three times more likely to engage in cross-border activity than those respondents without a business permit. Our ethnographic accounts provide context for our findings

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Pisani & Chad Richardson, 2012. "Cross-border informal entrepreneurs across the South Texas--Northern Mexico boundary," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3-4), pages 105-121, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:entreg:v:24:y:2012:i:3-4:p:105-121
    DOI: 10.1080/08985626.2012.670908

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    Cited by:

    1. Serge Francis Simen, 2018. "Dynamique de l'entrepreneuriat informel au Sénégal : caractéristiques et particularités," Post-Print halshs-01782037, HAL.
    2. Pedro Orraca & Martin Ramirez-Urquidy & Natanael Ramirez, 2017. "Beyond The Local Market: Mexican Cross-Border Entrepreneurs In The United States," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 22(04), pages 1-23, December.

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