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The Influence of Role Models on Immigrant Self-Employment: A Spatial Analysis for Switzerland

Listed author(s):
  • Giuliano Guerra

    ()

    (Institute for Economic Research (IRE), University of Lugano, Switzerland)

  • Roberto Patuelli

    ()

    (Institute for Economic Research (IRE), University of Lugano, Switzerland; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy)

Theoretical and empirical research suggests a connection between the presence of role models and the emergence of entrepreneurs. Existing entrepreneurs may act as role models for self-employment candidates by providing successful examples. By explicitly considering the self-employment rates of the natives, which may influence locally the decisions of immigrants towards entrepreneurship, we develop a simple model that explains immigrant self-employment rates for a sample of 2,490 Swiss municipalities. In addition, we accommodate for the presence of spatial spillovers in the distribution of rates, and test a spatial autoregressive model which takes into account the average self-employment rates of immigrants living in nearby municipalities. Our evidence shows a significant (positive) effect of such spatial network effects, which are characterized by a quick distance decay, suggesting spatial spillovers at the household and social network level. Additionally, we show that local conditions and immigrant pool characteristics differ, with respect to self-employment choices, when examining separately urban and rural contexts.

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File URL: http://doc.rero.ch/lm.php?url=1000,42,6,20101126094341-WK/wp1010.pdf
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Paper provided by USI Università della Svizzera italiana in its series Quaderni della facoltà di Scienze economiche dell'Università di Lugano with number 1010.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Handle: RePEc:lug:wpaper:1010
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.bul.sbu.usi.ch

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