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Cultural Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US during the Age of Mass Migration

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  • Philipp Ager

    ()
    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Markus Bruckner

    ()
    (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

Abstract

We exploit the large inflow of immigrants to the US during the 1870-1920 period to examine the effects that changes in the cultural composition of the population of US counties 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 effect of cultural diversity on output growth using the supply-push component of immigrant inflows as an instrumental variable.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Adelaide, School of Economics in its series School of Economics Working Papers with number 2011-02.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2011-02

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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," NBER Working Papers 18699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thomas Kemeny, 2013. "Immigrant Diversity and Economic Development in Cities: A Critical Review," SERC Discussion Papers 0149, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  3. 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).
  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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