Inderscience Publishers

Royal delicacies at peasant prices: cross-national differences, common grounds – towards an empirically supported theory of the informal economic activities of migrants

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Turkish groceries and fast food restaurants, Chinese barbecues, Pakistani kiosks, Iranian pizzerias and carpet stores, Arabic kebab houses, erotic artists from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, exchange agencies across Denmark and many other EU countries, a growing number of wholesale businesses in the Copenhagen area and other EU capitals are all manifestations of contemporary immigrant entrepreneurship. The list could be easily extended as immigrants in many cities in the European Union, and in advanced economies in general, have set up their own businesses of various kinds. But what is the role and the impact of immigrant owned businesses, and what influence do they have on the welfare state, on living conditions of immigrants and natives and on the economy in general? Drawing on empirical evidence from cross-national studies we attempt to provide answers to these core issues, whilst developing conceptual foundations of a theoretical framework that can explain the phenomenon, enabling us to make more reliable predictions future development.

Keywords: immigrant entrepreneurship, informal economic activities, bounded solidarity, enforceable trust, undocumented migration, parallel societies, dual loyalties, divided loyalties, welfare state, non-EU migrants, European Union, cross-national differences, common ground, Turkey, China, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Iran, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Denmark, UK, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, fast food restaurants, erotic artists, exchange agencies, retailing, hospitality industry, catering trade, Copenhagen, advanced economies, living conditions, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurialism, management, sustainable development, sustainability

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