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German-Jewish Emigres and U.S. Invention

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  • Petra Moser
  • Alessandra Voena
  • Fabian Waldinger

Abstract

Historical accounts suggest that Jewish émigrés from Nazi Germany revolutionized U.S. science. To analyze the émigrés’ effects on chemical innovation in the U.S. we compare changes in patenting by U.S. inventors in research fields of émigrés with fields of other German chemists. Patenting by U.S. inventors increased by 31 percent in émigré fields. Regressions that instrument for émigré fields with pre-1933 fields of dismissed German chemists confirm a substantial increase in U.S. invention. Inventor-level data indicate that émigrés encouraged innovation by attracting new researchers to their fields, rather than by increasing the productivity of incumbent inventors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19962.

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Date of creation: Mar 2014
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19962

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Cited by:
  1. Nathan, Max, 2013. "The Wider Economic Impacts of High-Skilled Migrants: A Survey of the Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7653, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2014. "Skilled Immigration and the Employment Structures of U.S. Firms," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp1071, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. Petra Moser, 2012. "Patent Laws and Innovation: Evidence from Economic History," NBER Working Papers 18631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. William R. Kerr, 2014. "U.S. High-Skilled Immigration, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Empirical Approaches and Evidence," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division 16, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division.
  5. Bratti, Massimiliano & Conti, Chiara, 2014. "The Effect of (Mostly Unskilled) Immigration on the Innovation of Italian Regions," IZA Discussion Papers 7922, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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