ABSTRACT. With some of the largest migrant populations worldwide as a percentage of the total population, the resource-rich states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have an extended historical record of migrant entrepreneurship, the emergence of which predates that of the modern state. While the process of globalization is often conceived of as a unidirectional route to greater internationalization, the Gulf experience illustrates how the horizons of traditional migrant entrepreneurship may shrink as a result of the very development an earlier generation of migrants had made possible. Subsistence economies, where migrant entrepreneurs wielded considerable bargaining power, have now been transformed into institutionally more formalized sites of global consumption, where the social capital instrumental in earlier periods of expatriate entrepreneurship is increasingly mismatched with official entrepreneurial policies aimed at the reproduction of Silicon Valley-style modes of high-tech entrepreneurship, and the empowerment of Gulf nationals. pp. 89–107

Keywords: demographics; migrant entrepreneurship; free economic zones; Middle East; Gulf; IT entrepreneurs; incubators; informal entrepreneurs; migration; regulation; governance; political economy
JEL Codes: F22; F23; F53; G18; J21; L22; L26; N15; N25

Joachim Kolb
Trinity College Dublin
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