We examine access to institutions and opportunity for entrepreneurs in a rising tech economy. A significant proportion of entrepreneurs and CEOs of tech firms in the American economy are either first or second-generation immigrant minorities. Are these minority entrepreneurs assimilating into a rising economic elite? To what extent is the technology economy segmented by ethnic boundaries and sectors? On a range of empirical measures including access to financial and social capital, firm performance, and normative beliefs on fairness and cooperation, we find second-generation immigrant minority tech entrepreneurs to be strikingly similar to their white counterparts. This study sheds new light on the institutional environment of a new regional technology economy, whereby barriers of entry are high in terms of human capital but economic competition is structurally and culturally open to immigrant minority entrepreneurs.

by Victor Nee and Lucas Drouhot
forthcoming
2020