BEYOND ETHNIC ENCLAVES? EXPLORING THE SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF LATINO-OWNED EMPLOYER FIRMS IN TWO U.S. IMMIGRATION GATEWAYS

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  • DISCLAIMER: The research in this article was conducted while the author was a Special Sworn Status researcher of the U.S. Census Bureau at the Triangle Census Research Data Center. Any opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Census Bureau. All results have been reviewed to ensure that no confidential information is disclosed.

ABSTRACT

The Latino population in the United States has increased dramatically during the past several decades. However, Latino-owned businesses have been understudied. Even less is known about these firms’ spatial distribution. Built on an interdisciplinary literature on industrial locations and ethnic economies, this study examines how the development of ethnic minority–owned businesses is contingent on the local neighborhood as both a work site and habitat. Using a confidential national survey of ethnic minority–owned businesses in the United States, this study compares the spatial distribution of Latino-owned employer firms in the Miami and Atlanta metropolitan areas. Consistent with previous research, results from this study strongly reinforce the importance of a connection between ethnic population concentration and emergence of ethnic businesses. A concentration of local businesses and co-locating with other businesses, regardless of ethnicity, are very important as well. Such agglomeration effects seem particularly important for new immigration destinations like Atlanta where a favorable entrepreneurial environment is still being developed for ethnic minority businesses. However, the positive effects from co-locating with local businesses are not linear. A threshold effect and small count preferences are detected in the two study areas.

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