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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. Paserman, M. Daniele, 2008. "Do High-Skill Immigrants Raise Productivity? Evidence from Israeli manufacturing Firms, 1990-1999," CEPR Discussion Papers 6896, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Becker, Sascha O. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2007. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," Discussion Papers in Economics 1366, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Pamuk, Sevket, 2007. "The Black Death and the origins of the across Europe, 1300 1600," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 289-317, December.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Botticini, Maristella & Eckstein, Zvi, 2005. "Jewish Occupational Selection: Education, Restrictions, or Minorities?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 922-948, December.
  9. Vandenbussche, Jérôme & Aghion, Philippe & Meghir, Costas, 2006. "Growth, distance to frontier and composition of human capital," Scholarly Articles 12490648, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Johan Fourie & Dieter von Fintel, 2011. "Settler Skills and Colonial Development," Working Papers 0009, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
  11. 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.
  12. Hatton, Timothy J., 2010. "The Cliometrics of International Migration: A Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 4900, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
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