Working Paper No. 1195

Ethnic Enclaves and Self-Employment among Middle Eastern Immigrants in Sweden – Ethnic Capital or Enclave Size?

Published: December 21, 2017, revised May 2020Pages: 36Keywords: Ethnic enclave; Segregation; Immigrant entrepreneurship; Self-employment; Labor market sorting; IntegrationJEL-codes: R10; R12; L26

Ethnic Enclaves and Self-Employment among Middle Eastern Immigrants in Sweden – Ethnic Capital or Enclave Size? Martin Andersson, Johan P Larsson and Özge Öner


We employ geocoded data to explore the effects of ethnic enclaves in Swedish cities on the propensity of Middle Eastern immigrants to use business ownership as a vehicle to transcend from labor market outsiders to insiders. We demonstrate a robust tendency for immigrants to leave non-employment for self-employment if many co-ethnic peers in the enclave are business owners, while we observe weak effects emanating from business owners in other groups. Net of these effects, overall enclave size, measured by the local concentration of co-ethnic peers, has a negative influence on the propensity for an outsider to become self-employed.

Özge Öner

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Martin Andersson

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martin.andersson@bth.se

Interdisciplinary European Studies

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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