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-  2019 

Simultaneous Embeddedness in Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Global Forces Behind Chinese

DOI: 10.1177/0002764218793684

Keywords: simultaneous embeddedness,mixed embeddedness,immigrant entrepreneurship,transnationalism,nail salons

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This article investigates how global forces influence immigrant entrepreneurship. Research in the United States generally assumes that immigrant enterprises, especially those in the service sector of the urban economy, are largely low-end and highly localized. Our case study of Chinese-owned nail salons in New York City suggests that immigrant enterprises are predominantly transnational, shaped not only by local market conditions in the host country but also by multiple layers of socioeconomic and politico-institutional circumstances in the home country. We build on the ideas of mixed embeddedness and transnationalism to develop an analytic framework of simultaneous embeddedness that underscores the linkage between the local and the global. Using data collected from face-to-face interviews and on-site observations in New York City, as well as archival records of government policies and media reports in both the United States and China, we find that individual characteristics and home country interpersonal networks shape processes of adaptation and business formation in the host country. Moreover, the supply of business labor is influenced by three factors in China: (a) educational attainment among the younger generation, (b) job mismatch in the local labor market, and (c) economic opportunities. Finally, the Chinese government’s entrepreneurship promoting policy and relaxed control over studying abroad and tourism overseas, intertwined with U.S. immigration policy, exacerbate the problem of labor shortage for Chinese-owned nail salons in New York City


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