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Language skills and migrant entrepreneurship: evidence from China

Xiahai Wei, Yang Jiao () and Glenn Growe
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Xiahai Wei: Huaqiao University
Yang Jiao: Fort Hays State University
Glenn Growe: Fort Hays State University

Small Business Economics, 2019, vol. 53, issue 4, 981-999

Abstract: Abstract Business ownership constitutes a vital part of the economy. While many of the determinants of entrepreneurship have been intensively studied, the link between language proficiency and entrepreneurship has not. Using the Migrant Dynamics Monitoring Survey, this paper studies the importance of language skills for migrant entrepreneurship. We find that migrants who can understand and fluently speak the local dialect are more likely to become entrepreneurs. The effect of language on entrepreneurship is more pronounced in the urban fringe, towns, and rural areas, and especially where individuals migrate across different dialectal regions. Gaining local dialect skills influences positively the decision to become either a necessity- or an opportunity-driven entrepreneur.

Keywords: Language skills; Dialect; Entrepreneurship; Migrants; China; M13; M21; L26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s11187-018-0105-6

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