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Immigration, Opportunity and Assimilation in a Technology Economy


We examine access to institutions and opportunity for entrepreneurs in a rising tech economy. A significant proportion of entrepreneurs and CEOs of tech firms in the American economy are either first or second-generation immigrant minorities. Are these minority entrepreneurs assimilating into a rising economic elite? To what extent is the technology economy segmented by ethnic boundaries and sectors? On a range of empirical measures including access to financial and social capital, firm performance, and normative beliefs on fairness and cooperation, we find second-generation immigrant minority tech entrepreneurs to be strikingly similar to their white counterparts. This study sheds new light on the institutional environment of a new regional technology economy, whereby barriers of entry are high in terms of human capital but economic competition is structurally and culturally open to immigrant minority entrepreneurs.

Theory and Society