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

  • Mueller, Elisabeth

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.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 11-030.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:11030
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  1. Yann Algan & Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Alan Manning, 2010. "The Economic Situation of First and Second-Generation Immigrants in France, Germany and the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(542), pages F4-F30, 02.
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  7. Bettina Peters, 2006. "Persistence of Innovation Stylised Facts and Panel Data Evidence," DRUID Working Papers 06-30, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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