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Migrant entrepreneurship in OECD countries and its contribution to employment

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The relative importance of immigrant entrepreneurship varies significantly, both across OECD countries and between immigrant groups. Furthermore, migrant entrepreneurs' contribution to employment creation in OECD countries rose steadily during the period 1998‐2008. Migrant entrepreneurs have different individual backgrounds than both native entrepreneurs and migrants in wage employment. They are, on average, more educated and work in a wide range of occupations and sectors, including non‐ethnic business sectors. Although migrant entrepreneurs are more likely than natives to create a new business in almost all OECD countries, in relation to their population size, the survival rate of their businesses is lower than for natives. Migrant entrepreneurship behaviour is affected by credit constraints and duration of residence in the host country, among other factors. The selective dimension of migration processes may partly explain why migrants are, on average, greater risk‐takers than natives and thus have a higher entrepreneurial spirit in many OECD countries.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: November 1, 2010


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