To Assimilate or Not to Assimilate? A Cross-country Study on Assimilating Entrepreneurial Tendencies

Shaomeng Jia, Joshua K. Bedi

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We study whether immigrants are more entrepreneurial than natives. More importantly, we analyze the motivations behind self-employment and how these motivations explain differences in entrepreneurial tendencies between natives, first-generation immigrants, and second-generation immigrants. We find immigrants to be generally more entrepreneurial, in terms of selfemployment, than natives, and we find the difference to be largely driven by necessity motivation, or the inability to find jobs elsewhere. We also find evidence of cross-generational assimilation among immigrants in terms of entrepreneurial tendencies. Finally, necessity-motivated entrepreneurs who develop their business to the established stage are much more likely to be second-generation immigrants than natives or first-generation immigrants
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Private Enterprise
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Immigration
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Self-employment

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