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Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity

  • Alberto Alesina

    ()

    (Harvard University
    IGIER Bocconi)

  • Johann Harnoss

    ()

    (Harvard University
    Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Hillel Rapoport

    ()

    (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
    Bar-Ilan University
    Harvard University)

Abstract We propose an index of population diversity based on people’s birthplaces and decompose it into a size (share of immigrants) and a variety (diversity of immigrants) component. We show that birthplace diversity is largely uncorrelated with ethnic, linguistic or genetic diversity and that the diversity of immigrants relates positively to measures of economic prosperity. This holds especially for skilled immigrants in richer countries at intermediate levels of cultural proximity. We address endogeneity by specifying a pseudo-gravity model predicting the size and diversity of immigration. The results are robust across specifications and suggestive of skill-complementarities between immigrants and native workers.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economic Growth.

Volume (Year): 21 (2016)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 101-138

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:21:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s10887-016-9127-6
DOI: 10.1007/s10887-016-9127-6
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