The aim of the essay is to propose an operational definition of immigrant entrepreneur and to make a clear distinction between employers and self employed. This distinction affects not only the creation of jobs, but also the competitiveness of enterprises, as it has been shown by a vast literature on the Italian small business. So far the available literature has always studied these two categories together, leading to an overestimate of the creation of immigrant entrepreneurship and to an underestimate its potential role in the domestic economy. Using institutional data it is possible to state that the immigrant entrepreneurial density (rate of immigrant firms over total firms in a given area) is positively correlated not only with GDP at local level, but also with available indicators of social integration. Using a sample of 200 entrepreneurs and self-employed immigrants, the main socio-demographic differences between self employed and employers are studied, as well as the availability of three forms of resources: economic, cultural and social capital (measured through a socio metric section of the interview). This analysis reveals that differences between these two groups have to be found in the availability of entrepreneurial resources – primarily social capital, and secondarily economic capital, whose availability depends on the first – while differences in demographic and social characteristics, including levels of formal education, do not differ significantly. As a matter of fact, immigrant entrepreneurs, compared to self-employed, can rely on a larger network of contacts having higher occupational prestige. In addition, the availability of social capital affects the firm’s ability to face the present economic crisis. In addition, data show different competitive strategies. While entrepreneurs focus primarily on the quality of products and services provided, self-employed are more dependent on subcontracting and rely on cost containment. The analysis of opinions is consistent with these findings and reveals that entrepreneurs are more optimistic about their chance to outcome the crisis, while self-employed are more pessimistic and envisage the idea of getting back to work as employees.
|Titolo:||A case of Declining Social Cohesion: Italy in the New Century|
CHIESI, ANTONIO MARIA (Primo)
DE LUCA, DEBORAH (Ultimo)
|Parole Chiave:||social cohesion ; Italy ; social integration ; social indicators|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale|
|Data di pubblicazione:||giu-2012|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|