CfP: Panel on Immigrant Businesses: the role of policies and institutions, IMISCOE 13th Annual Conference

IMISCOE 13th ANNUAL CONFERENCE “Migration and development”, Prague, June 30 – July 2, 2016

Call for papers for the panel onImmigrant Businesses: the role of policies and institutions

Organizer: Magdalena Ulceluse, Marie Curie Fellow, Central European University

Migrant entrepreneurship is a central policy concern, increasingly seen as a silver bullet for economic recovery, job creation and immigrant integration and upward mobility. Many developed countries have implemented special entry channels and visa requirements to attract immigrant entrepreneurs, alongside policy initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and self-employment among immigrants already residing in the country. Yet little research has been done on what is the actual effect of these policies on immigrant’s propensity to start a business. Moreover, there is little systematic investigation into how the broader politico-institutional context in the destination country can interact with such policies to create barriers or opportunities for new migrant businesses. For instance, regulations concerning the minimum wage, health and security and immigration policies can all influence the decision to start a new venture and its subsequent trajectory.

This panel aims to facilitate discussion on the role of institutions and policies in shaping immigrant businesses. The goal is to complement existing theories of immigrant self-employment that focus on the supply side – thus on migrants’ characteristics and ethnic communities – with a focus on the demand side – looking at the broader institutional context and how it shapes the opportunity structure in which migrants conduct economic activities.

The contributions can be theoretical or empirical. Possible research questions are the effect of policies and institutions on migrants’ propensity to become self-employed, on shaping self-employment trajectories, on sectoral and occupational concentration, or on gender differences in self-employment rates, etc. Contributions that use comparative or multi-method approaches are particularly encouraged.

Please send an abstract of maximum 250 words by 20 January 2016 to the organizers ( The abstract should specify the main research questions, methods and findings, if applicable. The notification of acceptance will be made by 27 January 2016. The notification of acceptance of the panel by IMISCOE organizers is 31st March 2016.