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Local Economy and Ethnic Entrepreneurs

Abstract

In reaction to current emphasis upon internal, supply-side causes, some entrepreneurship researchers have recommended a balancing stress upon the neglected demand-side. Thus, Waldinger, Ward and Aldrich (1985, p. 589) observe that a "common objection to cultural analysis" is its lack of attention to "the economic environment in which immigrant entrepreneurs function." Instead of this lop-sided treatment, they recommend "an interactive approach" which looks at the "congruence between the demands of the economic environment and the informal resources of the ethnic population."Since they wrote, this reaction has achieved the strength of a movement of thought in the entrepreneurship literature (see Morokvasic, Phizacklea, and Waldinger, 1987, p. 6). In principle, a compensatory reaction to cultural analysis is appropriate as a complete explanation of immigrant or ethnic entrepreneurship demands attention to both the demand side and the supply side. Lop-sided explanations must be partial, incomplete, and to that extent wrong.

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