Chapter 21: Asian and Other Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the United States
Robert W. Fairlie Introduction The entrepreneurial success of immigrants is well known. For example, business ownership is higher among the foreign-born than the native-born in many developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia (Borjas, 1986; Schuetze and Antecol, 2006; and Fairlie et al., 2010). Businesses owned by some immigrant groups are also very successful with higher incomes and employment than native-owned businesses. For example, firms owned by Asian immigrants have higher sales, profits and employment, and are less likely to close than are white-owned firms (Fairlie and Robb, 2008). In an attempt to attract immigrant entrepreneurs, many developed countries have created special visas and entry requirements for immigrant entrepreneurs (Schuetze and Antecol, 2006). Although currently only a small program, the United States gives special preferences for admission to immigrants who invest $1 million in businesses that create at least 10 new full-time jobs (US Immigration and Naturalization Service, 2006). Recently, much attention has been drawn to the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs to the technology and engineering sectors of the economy. Twenty-five percent of engineering and technology companies started in the past decade were founded by immigrants (Wadhwa et al., 2007). These firms had $52 billion in sales and hired 450,000 workers in 2005 in the United States. Previous research also indicates that immigrant entrepreneurs have made important contributions to high-tech areas such as Silicon Valley (Saxenian, 1999, 2000). Engineers from China and India run roughly one-quarter of all technology businesses started in Silicon...
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