Getting Schooled: The Role of Universities in Attracting Immigrant Entrepreneurs

51 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2022

See all articles by Natee Amornsiripanitch

Natee Amornsiripanitch

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Paul Gompers

Harvard University - Business School (HBS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

George Hu

Harvard University - Department of Economics

Kaushik Vasudevan

Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr School of Business, Purdue University

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 1, 2022

Abstract

We study immigrant founders of venture-capital backed firms using a new and detailed data set 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, L23

Suggested Citation

Amornsiripanitch, Natee and Gompers, Paul and Hu, George and Vasudevan, Kaushik, Getting Schooled: The Role of Universities in Attracting Immigrant Entrepreneurs (August 1, 2022). FRB of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 22-19, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4187437 or http://dx.doi.org/10.21799/frbp.wp.2022.19

Natee Amornsiripanitch (Contact Author)

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

Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States

Paul Gompers

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

George Hu

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kaushik Vasudevan

Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr School of Business, Purdue University ( email )

403 Mitch Daniels Blvd.
West Lafayette, IN 47907
United States

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