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Immigrant Entrepreneurs And Innovation In The U.S. High-Tech Sector

Author

Listed:
  • J. David Brown
  • John S. Earle
  • Mee Jung Kim
  • Kyung Min Lee

Abstract

We estimate differences in innovation behavior between foreign versus U.S.-born entrepreneurs in high-tech industries. Our data come from the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, a random sample of firms with detailed information on owner characteristics and innovation activities. We find uniformly higher rates of innovation in immigrant-owned firms for 15 of 16 different innovation measures; the only exception is for copyright/trademark. The immigrant advantage holds for older firms as well as for recent start-ups and for every level of the entrepreneur’s education. The size of the estimated immigrant-native differences in product and process innovation activities rises with detailed controls for demographic and human capital characteristics but falls for R&D and patenting. Controlling for finance, motivations, and industry reduces all coefficients, but for most measures and specifications immigrants are estimated to have a sizable advantage in innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • J. David Brown & John S. Earle & Mee Jung Kim & Kyung Min Lee, 2019. "Immigrant Entrepreneurs And Innovation In The U.S. High-Tech Sector," Working Papers 19-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:19-06
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2019/CES-WP-19-06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F61 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Microeconomic Impacts
    • F66 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Labor
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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