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Migration, Risk Attitudes, and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from a Representative Immigrant Survey

Author

Listed:
  • Catia Batista

    () (Nova University of Lisbon)

  • Janis Umblijs

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research, Oslo, Norway)

Abstract

Do more risk loving migrants opt for self-employment? This is a question especially relevant for policy makers designing selective immigration policies in countries of destination. In order to provide a rigorous answer to it, we use a novel vignette-adjusted measure of risk preferences in the domain of work to investigate the link between risk aversion and entrepreneurship in migrant communities. Using a representative household survey of the migrant population in the Greater Dublin Area, we find a significant negative relationship between risk aversion and entrepreneurship. In addition, our results show that the use of vignettes improves the significance of the results, as they correct for differential item functioning (where respondents interpret the self-evaluation scale in different ways) between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs, and corrects for variation in the use of self-evaluation scales between migrants from different countries of origin.

Suggested Citation

  • Catia Batista & Janis Umblijs, 2014. "Migration, Risk Attitudes, and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from a Representative Immigrant Survey," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2014004, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:nor:wpaper:2014004
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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. 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.
    3. Cramer, J. S. & Hartog, J. & Jonker, N. & Van Praag, C. M., 2002. "Low risk aversion encourages the choice for entrepreneurship: an empirical test of a truism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 29-36, May.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:98:y:2004:i:01:p:191-207_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Marco Caliendo & Frank Fossen & Alexander Kritikos, 2009. "Risk attitudes of nascent entrepreneurs–new evidence from an experimentally validated survey," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 153-167, February.
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    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    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;

    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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