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Immigration and the Diffusion of Technology: The Huguenot Diaspora in Prussia

  • Erik Hornung

This paper analyzes long-term effects of skilled-worker immigration on productivity for the Huguenot migration to Prussia. In 1685, religiously persecuted French Huguenots settled in Brandenburg- Prussia and compensated for population losses due to plagues during the Thirty Years' War. We combine Huguenot immigration lists from 1700 with Prussian firm-level data on the value of inputs and outputs in 1802 in a unique database to analyze the effects of skilled immigration to places with underused economic potential. Exploiting this settlement pattern in an instrumental-variable approach, we find substantial long-term effects of Huguenot settlement on the productivity of textile manufactories.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 104 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 84-122

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:1:p:84-122
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.1.84
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  1. Sascha O. Becker & Erik Hornung & Ludger Woessmann, 2011. "Education and Catch-Up in the Industrial Revolution," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 92-126, July.
  2. Annekatrin Niebuhr, 2010. "Migration and innovation: Does cultural diversity matter for regional R&D activity?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 89(3), pages 563-585, 08.
  3. M Paserman, 2013. "Do high-skill immigrants raise productivity? Evidence from Israeli manufacturing firms, 1990-1999," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-31, December.
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  7. Timothy J. Hatton, 2010. "The Cliometrics Of International Migration: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 941-969, December.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521840095 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Botticini, Maristella & Eckstein, Zvi, 2004. "Jewish Occupational Selection: Education, Restrictions or Minorities?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4604, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Aghion, Philippe & Meghir, Costas & Vandenbussche, Jérôme, 2005. "Growth, Distance to Frontier and Composition of Human Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 4860, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Chiswick, Carmel U. & Chiswick, Barry R. & Karras, Georgios, 1992. "The impact of immigrants on the macroeconomy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 279-316, December.
  12. Rachel M. Friedberg & J. Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Working Papers 95-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  13. Stephan R. Epstein, 2004. "Property Rights to Technical Knowledge in Premodern Europe, 1300-1800," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 382-387, May.
  14. Johan Fourie & Dieter von Fintel, 2011. "Settler Skills and Colonial Development," Working Papers 0009, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
  15. Stephen Drinkwater & Paul Levine & Emanuela Lotti & Joseph Pearlman, 2007. "The Immigration Surplus Revisited In A General Equilibrium Model With Endogenous Growth," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 569-601.
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