Transnational activities of immigrant-owned firms and their performances in the USA

Using microdata from the U.S. Survey of Business Owners 2007, this study examines transnational activities of immigrant-owned businesses in three aspects: Whether they export, outsource jobs, and have overseas establishments. Results show that immigrant-owned firms have significantly higher tendency to be involved in transnational economic activities when compared to non-immigrant-owned firms. Immigrant firms without transnational activities have significantly fewer employees, smaller annual total sales, and smaller total payrolls than non-immigrant firms. However, immigrant-owned firms with transnational activities fare significantly better than non-immigrant-owned firms without transnational activities. These findings speak directly to the long-debated issues concerning different motivations and performance outcomes of immigrant business ownership.

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