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The Roles of Immigrants and Foreign Students in US Science, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship$
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Ina Ganguli, Shulamit Kahn, and Megan MacGarvie

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226695624

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226695761.001.0001

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Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Innovation in the US High-Tech Sector

Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Innovation in the US High-Tech Sector

Chapter:
(p.149) 6 Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Innovation in the US High-Tech Sector
Source:
The Roles of Immigrants and Foreign Students in US Science, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
Author(s):

J. David Brown

John S. Earle

Mee Jung Kim

Kyung Min Lee

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226695761.003.0007

We estimate differences in innovation behavior between foreign versus U.S.-born entrepreneurs in high-tech industries. Our data come from the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, a random sample of firms with detailed information on owner characteristics and innovation activities. We find uniformly higher rates of innovation in immigrant-owned firms for 15 of 16 different innovation measures; the only exception is for copyright/trademark. The immigrant advantage holds for older firms as well as for recent start-ups and for every level of the entrepreneur’s education. The size of the estimated immigrant-native differences in product and process innovation activities rises with detailed controls for demographic and human capital characteristics but falls for R&D and patenting. Controlling for finance, motivations, and industry reduces all coefficients, but for most measures and specifications immigrants are estimated to have a sizable advantage in innovation.

Keywords:   immigration, entrepreneur, innovation, high-tech, patent

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