Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies
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Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies

Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Jaime Sobrino

In this timely Handbook, seventeen renowned contributors from Asia, the Americas and Europe provide chapters that deal with some of the most intriguing and important aspects of research methodologies on cities and urban economies.
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Chapter 19: The creative urban diaspora economy: a disparity analysis among migrant entrepreneurs

Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Daniel Arribas- Bel


A recent article in The Economist (19 November 2011) highlighted the ‘magic of diasporas’ by arguing that foreign migrants make a significant contribution to a nations’ economic growth. In particular, immigrant networks are a source of progress in a globalizing world. Many foreign migrants are not individual opportunity seekers, but exhibit a herd behaviour in which social bonding and mutual support systems among members of the same ethnic or socio-economic group are crucial success conditions. Such diaspora networks based on kinship, language, culture or geography appear to create the basis for new and flexible forms of economic activity, in which social capital and trust play an important role (see Kloosterman and Rath 2001). Clearly, there are additional factors that also help to create the foundation for a successful economic operation by migrants in host countries, in particular, knowledge, involvement in local cultures, and accessibility to broader communication and social exchange networks (see also Fukuyama 1996, and Putnam 2000). There has been an upsurge of – often unjustified or politically motivated – views on the negative socio-economic impacts of foreign migrants.

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