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European Migration, National Origin and Long-term Economic Development in the United States

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  • Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
  • Viola von Berlepsch

Abstract

type="main"> Have Irish, German, or Italian settlers arriving in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century left a trace that determines differences in economic development to this day? Does the national origin of migrants matter for long-term development? This article explores whether the distinct geographic settlement patterns of European migrants according to national origin affected economic development across U.S. counties. It uses microdata from the 1880 and 1910 censuses in order to identify where migrants from different nationalities settled and then regresses current levels of economic development on settlement patterns according to national origin, using both ordinary least squares and instrumental variable approaches. The analysis controls for a number of factors that would have determined the attractiveness of different U.S. counties at the time of migration as well as current levels of development. The results indicate that while there is a strong and positive impact associated with overall migration, differences in the quality of the institutions of the countries of origin of the migrant are not necessarily a good predictor for current levels of economic development of U.S. counties.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Viola von Berlepsch, 2015. "European Migration, National Origin and Long-term Economic Development in the United States," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(4), pages 393-424, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecgeog:v:91:y:2015:i:4:p:393-424
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecge.12099
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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Neil & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés & von Berlepsch, Viola, 2018. "A woman's touch? Female migration and economic development in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 12878, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Tobias Ketterer & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2015. "Local quality of government and voting with one’s feet," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 55(2), pages 501-532, December.
    3. Neil Lee & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2016. "Is there trickle-down from tech? Poverty, employment and the high-technology multiplier in US cities," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1618, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Aug 2016.
    4. repec:wiw:wiwreg:region_5_1_203 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Timothy J Hatton & Zachary Ward, 2018. "International Migration in the Atlantic Economy 1850 - 1940," CEH Discussion Papers 02, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

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