Getting Schooled: The Role of Universities in Attracting Immigrant Entrepreneurs

50 Pages Posted: 5 May 2021 Last revised: 5 May 2022

See all articles by Natee Amornsiripanitch

Natee Amornsiripanitch

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Paul A. Gompers

Harvard Business School - Finance Unit; Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

George Hu

Harvard University

Kaushik Vasudevan

Yale University

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2, 2021

Abstract

We study immigrant founders of venture-capital backed firms using a new and detailed dataset that we assemble on the backgrounds of founders. Immigrant founders have been critical to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, accounting for roughly 20% of all venture capital-backed founders over the past 30 years. We document the channels through which immigrant founders arrive in the United States and how those channels have changed over time. Higher education has served as the primary entry channel for immigrant founders. The share of foreign-educated immigrant founders who initially arrive for work has decreased over time, while the share of immigrant founders with undergraduate education in the United States has increased over time. Immigrant founders are likely to start their companies in the state in which they were educated, leading to potentially large local economic benefits associated with attracting foreign students. The results of this paper have important policy implications for the supply of entrepreneurial talent and efforts to promote entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Immigration, Education

JEL Classification: G24, J0, J15, J24, L26

Suggested Citation

Amornsiripanitch, Natee and Gompers, Paul A. and Hu, George and Vasudevan, Kaushik, Getting Schooled: The Role of Universities in Attracting Immigrant Entrepreneurs (May 2, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3838408 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3838408

Natee Amornsiripanitch

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States

Paul A. Gompers (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School - Finance Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6297 (Phone)
617-496-8443 (Fax)

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02163
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

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1000 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

George Hu

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kaushik Vasudevan

Yale University ( email )

165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.kvasudevan.com

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