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Separate but not equal: Toward a nomological net for migrants and migrant entrepreneurship


This paper considers migrants on a continuum in terms of voluntariness of departure and intended timeframe in the new location. The corresponding 2 × 2 framework offers a theory-driven typology with which to consider four groups: exiles, sojourners, immigrants, and refugees. We apply the framework to the topic of migrant entrepreneurship, demonstrating the need for separate consideration of refugee and immigrant entrepreneurs. We propose ways in which types of capital differ between the two and discuss how differences affect entrepreneurial endeavors. The framework extends scholarship on migrant entrepreneurship, while providing a nomological net for improved theorizing for a range of migrant situations.

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Correspondence to Lisa Jones Christensen.

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Accepted by David Deeds, Guest Editor, 2 October 2019. This article has been with the authors for three revisions.

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Christensen, L.J., Newman, A.B., Herrick, H. et al. Separate but not equal: Toward a nomological net for migrants and migrant entrepreneurship. J Int Bus Policy 3, 1–22 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s42214-019-00041-w

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  • construct development and evaluation
  • economic development
  • evaluation of current theories
  • comparative entrepreneurship
  • immigration policy
  • refugees