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Ethnic Concentration, Cultural Identity and Immigrant Self-Employment in Switzerland

  • G. Guerra
  • R. Patuelli
  • R. Maggi

Immigrant self-employment rates vary considerably across regions in Switzerland. Business ownership provides an alternative to wage labour, where immigrants have to face structural barriers such as the limited knowledge of the local language, or difficulties in fruitfully making use of their own human capital. Despite their historically high unemployment rates with respect to natives, immigrants in Switzerland are less entrepreneurial. It is therefore important to uncover factors that may facilitate the transition from the status of immigrant to the one of economic agent. Among others factors, concentration in ethnic enclaves, as well as accumulated labour market experience and time elapsed since immigration, have been associated to higher business ownership rates. In this paper, we use a cross-section of 2,490 Swiss municipalities in order to investigate the role played by the ethnic concentration of immigrants, as well as cultural factors, in determining self-employment rates.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp808.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp808
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  1. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 1942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
  3. Roberto Patuelli & Daniel A. Griffith & Michael Tiefelsdorf & Peter Nijkamp, 2011. "Spatial Filtering and Eigenvector Stability: Space-Time Models for German Unemployment Data," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 34(2), pages 253-280, April.
  4. David E. Bloom & Gilles Grenier & Morley Gunderson, 1994. "The Changing Labor Market Position of Canadian Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 4672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Clark, Kenneth & Drinkwater, Stephen, 2000. "Pushed out or pulled in? Self-employment among ethnic minorities in England and Wales," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 603-628, September.
  7. Andrew M. Yuengert, 1995. "Testing Hypotheses of Immigrant Self-Employment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 194-204.
  8. Glocker, Daniela & Steiner, Viktor, 2007. "Self-Employment: A Way to End Unemployment? Empirical Evidence from German Pseudo-Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2561, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 1996. "Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 757-793.
  11. Reimers, Cordelia W, 1983. "Labor Market Discrimination against Hispanic and Black Men," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 570-79, November.
  12. John Fox, . "Effect Displays in R for Generalised Linear Models," Journal of Statistical Software, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(i15).
  13. Gross, Dominique M., 2006. "Immigration policy and foreign population in Switzerland," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3853, The World Bank.
  14. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. repec:dgr:uvatin:19990089 is not listed on IDEAS
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