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Cultural diversity and economic growth: Evidence from the US during the age of mass migration

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  • Ager, Philipp
  • Brückner, Markus

Abstract

We exploit the large inflow of immigrants to the US during the 1870–1920 period to examine the effects that within-county changes in the cultural composition of the US population had on output growth. We construct measures of fractionalization and polarization to distinguish between the different effects of cultural diversity. Our main finding is that increases in cultural fractionalization significantly increased output, while increases in cultural polarization significantly decreased output. We address the issue of identifying the causal effects of cultural diversity by using the supply-push component of immigrant inflows as an instrumental variable.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 64 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 76-97

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:64:y:2013:i:c:p:76-97

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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Keywords: Cultural diversity; Economic growth; Historical development; Immigration;

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Cited by:
  1. Alberto Alesina & Johann Harnoss & Hillel Rapoport, 2013. "Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1304, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Nina Boberg-Fazlic & Paul Sharp, 2013. "Does Welfare Spending Crowd Out Charitable Activity? Evidence from Historical England under the Poor Laws," Working Papers 0049, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  3. Thomas Kemeny, 2013. "Immigrant Diversity and Economic Development in Cities: A Critical Review," SERC Discussion Papers 0149, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  4. Ager, Philipp & Brückner, Markus, 2013. "Immigrants' Genes: Genetic Diversity and Economic Development in the US," MPRA Paper 51906, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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