Graduation Year

2019

Date of Submission

12-2018

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Reader 1

Heather Antecol

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© 2018 Alejandro Sandell-Gandara

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of entrepreneurial spirit on immigrant entrepreneurship in the United States. Entrepreneurial spirit refers to attitudes and perceptions towards entrepreneurship, or general self-employment. I address the home country self-employment hypothesis and examine the effect of home country self-employment rates on immigrant self-employment outcomes. I find a negative effect of home country self-employment rates on immigrant self-employment rates and thus, reject the home country self-employment hypothesis. I argue that home country self-employment rates over-estimate entrepreneurial spirit because they are largely driven by the world’s poorest people who are less likely emigrate to the U.S. I address this issue by using immigrants’ home country’s Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) as a measure of immigrant entrepreneurial spirit. I find that the GEI has a positive effect on immigrant self-employment rates, and provide evidence that entrepreneurial spirit has a positive effect on immigrant entrepreneurship in the U.S.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.

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