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Entrepreneurs from low-skilled immigrant groups in knowledge-intensive industries - company characteristics, survival and innovative performance

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  • Mueller, Elisabeth

Abstract

This paper analyzes how companies of immigrant entrepreneurs in knowledgeintensive industries differ from companies of native entrepreneurs with respect to start-up characteristics, firm survival and innovative performance. I focus on immigrants from the 'recruitment countries' of south and southeast Europe, who arrived in Germany mainly in the 1970s to fill labor shortages. They are the largest immigrant group in Germany and can be reliably identified via ethnic name coding. Immigrant entrepreneurs are less than half as likely to found a company in a knowledge-intensive industry as native entrepreneurs. Firms owned exclusively by immigrants tend to be smaller and have higher exit rates. After controlling for resources, I found no differences in patenting activity compared to firms owned exclusively by natives. Firms in mixed immigrant/native ownership have no size disadvantage. In that group, exit rates are higher in services but not in manufacturing, and, again, there are no differences in patenting when resources are taken into account. The lower participation of immigrant entrepreneurs in knowledge-intensive industries can be explained by lower education levels, while smaller firm sizes suggest more limited access to capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Mueller, Elisabeth, 2011. "Entrepreneurs from low-skilled immigrant groups in knowledge-intensive industries - company characteristics, survival and innovative performance," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-030, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:11030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cuntz, Alexander & Czernich, Nina & Dauchert, Helge & Meurer, Petra & Philipps, Annika, 2015. "Gesellschaftliche Dimensionen von Innovation: Zentrale Fragen und Datenlage," Studien zum deutschen Innovationssystem 18-2015, Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation (EFI) - Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation, Berlin.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrants; innovation; entrepreneurship; knowledge-intensive industries;

    JEL classification:

    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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