NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Immigrant Entrepreneurship in America: Evidence from the Survey of Business Owners 2007 & 2012

Sari Pekkala Kerr, William R. Kerr

NBER Working Paper No. 24494
Issued in April 2018, Revised in July 2019

---- Acknowledgments ----

We study immigrant entrepreneurship in 2007 and 2012 using the Survey of Business Owners. First-generation immigrants create about 25% of new firms in America, but this share exceeds 40% in some states. Immigrant-owned firms tend to create fewer jobs than native-owned firms, have comparable pay levels, offer fewer benefits, and engage more in international activities. Immigrant-founded firms in high-tech sectors more closely resemble native-founded firms than in low-tech sectors. Prominent tech clusters display quite pronounced shares of immigrant entrepreneurs, with stronger high-tech immigrant entrepreneurs being especially present. Second-generation immigrants tend to show intermediate firm traits indicative of business assimilation. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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