• William Kerr


Social Networks, Ethnicity and Entrepreneurship. William Kerr, October 31, 2015, Opinion. "The book Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots relates the story of Yun, a Korean university graduate who came to the US in the late 1970s to pursue higher degrees in mathematics. He ended up abandoning those plans to join a relative in running a small store selling trinkets. “There is an expression here: ’What you do depends on who picks you up at the airport,’” he noted. “I, too, followed my relative into the same business.” This story reflects the broad tendency among immigrant populations to concentrate around specific industries and entrepreneurship. This is not a new phenomenon; historical examples of ethnic specialisation range from the Jews in Medieval Europe to the Japanese in South America. Fairlie (2008) shows that immigrants are much more likely to be self-employed entrepreneurs than natives. Kuznets (1960) observed that "all minorities are characterised, at a given time, by an occupational structure distinctly narrower than that of the total population and the majority.""