A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that immigrants contribute disproportionately to entrepreneurship in many countries and are strongly linked to economic growth and innovation.

Key Points:

  • New research conducted by economists William R. Kerr, Saheel A. Chodavadia, Sari Pekkala Kerr and Louis J. Maiden was published as a draft chapter for an upcoming volume of Migration and Innovation: A Research Agenda.
  • The research shows that immigrants account for a quarter of new employer businesses in the U.S. and are overrepresented as founders in the high-tech industry.
    • In 2022, the four most valuable private, venture-backed U.S. companies had immigrant founders.
  • The study found that a business is more likely to have a patent if the owner is an immigrant and that firms founded by immigrants are up to 4.5% more likely to produce new technologies.
  • The authors say these findings suggest that immigrant entrepreneurs are more strongly linked to innovation, economic growth and labor adjustment, especially in the high-tech sector.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group.

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