Immigrant entrepreneurs more innovative that US counterparts

A study based on US census data has revealed that immigrant-owned tech firms in the United States are more innovative than US-born entrepreneur firms.

The study, which was carried out by the National Bureau of Economic Research, analysed roughly 11,000 owners of 7,400 high-tech employer businesses.

“We find uniformly higher rates of innovation in immigrant-owned firms for 15 of 16 different innovation measures; the only exception is for copyright/trademark,” the researchers stated.Businessman portrait young smiling business man

The key reason why immigrant-owned companies were better at innovating was because of their “higher propensities to engage in innovation and Research and Development” compared to locally owned firms, according to the study.

John S Earle, a professor at the George Mason University’s School of Policy and Government and one of the study’s authors, believes that this study was the first of its kind.

“There have been studies of immigration and self-employment, and there has been a little bit of research that looks at size of firms owned by immigrants,” Earle explained. “Ours is the first study that I’m aware of to look at the innovativeness of immigrant entrepreneurs.

“It appears that immigrant entrepreneurs are not replacing Americans. Instead, they are creating something new,” he added.

Ian Hathaway, the lead researcher at the Centre for American Entrepreneurship reacted to the new study with “zero surprise.”

“I would be shocked if it was any other way,” he told NBC News. “There aren’t a lot of things that economists agree on, but one thing they do agree on is the universal positive benefit immigrants have on the economy and entrepreneurship.”

The study is released at a time when President Donald Trump is pushing for a hardline strategy against illegal immigration that has resulted in a 35-day partial government shutdown and a national emergency.

US tech firms have long been vocal about the need for immigration and have consistently called for reforms to make it easier for skilled workers and entrepreneurs to enter the United States.

Article published 21st February 2019