Asian Entrepreneurship in the Coronavirus Era

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Springer Nature

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a deleterious impact on the world economy. Studies have documented the disproportional impact of the pandemic on minorities, immigrants, and business owners in the USA. In this study, we use Current Population Survey monthly data spanning from January 2014 through December 2021 to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic affected Asian entrepreneurship. We show that the pandemic disproportionally hurt Asian entrepreneurship, particularly among immigrants, up until the end of 2020. A detailed analysis of Asian business dynamics reveals a substantial increase in self-employment exits during the first year of the pandemic. We fail to find convincing evidence of differential industry/job-type concentration, individual preferences, majority-minority disparities, narrower clientele, or differential access to government support as primary drivers for such patterns. Instead, we find suggestive evidence of discrimination playing a non-negligible role that subsided in 2021, coinciding with the rollout of vaccines.

Asian, COVID-19, Self-employment, Business dynamics, Discrimination