Intrametropolitan Opportunity Structure and the Self-Employment of Asian and Latino Immigrants
Economic Development Quarterly, Forthcoming
41 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2011
Date Written: November, 28 2011
Using 2000 Census microdata for the Atlanta metropolitan area as a case study, this research investigates the effect of intra-metropolitan opportunity structure and local area context, especially spatial structure, urban employment pattern, social environment and ethnic concentration, on Asian and Latino immigrants’ incidence of self-employment. These two groups grew rapidly both in the total labor force and among the self-employed in Atlanta. It is found that living in central city and inner ring suburbs depresses Latino immigrants’ entrepreneurial activities. The growth of trade jobs and concentration of immigrants in a local area both give rise to immigrant entrepreneurship. Results suggest that traditional theories like disadvantage theory needs to be reassessed in the context of new immigrant gateways, while the ethnic enclave hypothesis is still validated. Potential policies to promote immigrant entrepreneurship are also discussed.
Keywords: immigrants, self-employment
JEL Classification: J23, J61
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation