Are migrants in/from emerging economies more entrepreneurial than natives?

Maribel Guerrero, Vesna Mandakovic, Mauricio Apablaza, Veronica Arriagada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The academic debate in migrant entrepreneurship has mainly focused on movements from emerging economies into developed economies. Anecdotal evidence has suggested that the highest impact is generated by migrants in/from emerging economies. To extend this academic discussion in the Latin-American context, this study investigates why migrants are more entrepreneurial than natives. By adopting the human capital and the institutional approach, we theorize that individual and environmental conditions produce selection/discrimination effects in the host labour market. Consequently, these effects influence migrants’ decision to become entrepreneurs. We tested our hypotheses using a sample of 13,368 adults between the ages of 18–64 based across the 16 Chilean regions. Our results showed that being a high-skilled migrant in a dynamic emerging economy is not a guarantee of success in the labour market, but it is a determinant of international and necessity-driven entrepreneurship. Several implications and a provocative discussion emerged from these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-548
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Entrepreneurship and Management Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Emerging economies
  • Entrepreneurship quality
  • Human capital
  • Institutional economics
  • Internationalization
  • L26
  • Migrant entrepreneurship
  • O15
  • O55

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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