Title: Transnational Iranian entrepreneurs in the import/export industry of Los Angeles

Authors: Ivan Light; Parvin Shahlapour

Addresses: Department of Sociology, University of California, UCLA, Box 951551, Los Angeles CA 90095, USA ' Department of Sociology, University of California, UCLA, Box 951551, Los Angeles CA 90095, USA

Abstract: Immigrants perform better in import/export industries than generally in independent business. The usual explanation addresses their overseas social networks. Extensive network connections abroad enable immigrants to reduce the daunting transaction costs that otherwise bedevil SMEs in international trade. Accepting that prevailing view, this research obtains evidence regarding the actual social network ties that Iranian immigrant entrepreneurs in Los Angeles had with trading partners abroad. However, instead of looking at connections between the Iranians and their homeland, we examined instead their social connections with other locations in the Iranian international diaspora. Although preliminary and sketchy, this evidence tends to confirm the importance of personal social contacts abroad, but it also shows that Iranian traders still reported many collection problems overseas and, as a result, had undertaken legal strategies of self-protection.

Keywords: transnational entrepreneurs; Iran; entrepreneurship; international trade; social capital; immigrants; Los Angeles; USA; United States; migrants; import-export industry; imports; exports; social networks; personal contacts; social contacts.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBG.2016.075732

International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 2016 Vol.16 No.3, pp.304 - 313

Received: 17 Apr 2015
Accepted: 08 May 2015

Published online: 01 Apr 2016 *

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