Journal Article

Self-employment and reason for migration: are those who migrate for asylum different from other migrants?

Published 22 January 2020 / By Zovanga L. Kone, Isabel Ruiz & Carlos Vargas-Silva

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Introduction

This paper explores differences in the likelihood of engaging in self-employment among migrants who moved for different reasons to the UK. The results suggest that, conditional on being in employment, those who initially migrated for asylum reasons are six percentage points more likely to engage in self-employment than the UK-born, while those who migrated for work reasons are not significantly different from UK-born workers in this regard. We also find that mediating factors, such as the presence of networks and years since migration, relate differently to the likelihood of self-employment for each group of migrants. Finally, there are also differences when looking at the number of persons employed by the self-employed and the skill level associated with the activity of self-employment. Those who migrated for asylum are not significantly different from the UK-born in their likelihood of employing someone else, while those who migrated for work are two percentage points less likely to employ others relative to the UK-born.

Read the associated blog: Are all migrants more entrepreneurial than the native-born?

Citation

Kone, Z., Ruiz, I. and C. Vargas-Silva (2020) “Self-employment and reason for migration: are those who migrate for asylum different from other migrants?” Small Business Economics, doi: 10.1007/s11187-019-00311-0