Immigration and the origins of regional inequality: Government-sponsored European migration to southern Brazil before World War I
This paper studies the long-term consequences of the government-sponsored programs of European immigration to Southern Brazil before the Great War. We find that the municipalities closer to the original sites of nineteenth century government sponsored settlements (colônias) have higher per capita income, less poverty and dependence on Bolsa Família cash transfers, better health and education outcomes; and for the areas close to German colonies, also less inequality of income and educational outcomes than otherwise. Since that is a reduced form relationship, we then attempt to identify the relative importance of more egalitarian landholdings and higher initial human capital in determining those outcomes. Our findings are suggestive that more egalitarian land distribution played a more important role than higher initial human capital in achieving the good outcomes associated with closeness to a colônia.
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