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One Quarter of Entrepreneurs in the United States Are Immigrants

Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, August 31, 2016

By Michael Blanding

24502460665 7a47e8a334 zThe tired narrative surrounding immigrants in the United States claims that they “steal jobs” from hard working, native-born Americans. However, these claims are rooted in xenophobia, not facts. New research from Sari Pekkala Kerr, senior research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW), and William Kerr of Harvard Business School, show that immigrants are far from the drain on the U.S. economy that xenophobes portray them to be. According to Pekkala Kerr and Kerr, while immigrants are 15 percent of the overall U.S. population, they comprise 24 percent of U.S. entrepreneurs, thereby enabling job growth rather than stunting it. Furthermore, according to Kerr, while businesses founded by immigrants are more likely to fail than those founded by natives, those that survive experience higher employment growth.

Read more about Pekkala Kerr and Kerr’s findings in Harvard Business School Working Knowledge.

 

One Quarter of Entrepreneurs in the United States Are Immigrants