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Cultural Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US during the Age of Mass Migration

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  • Philipp Ager

    () (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Markus Bruckner

    () (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

Abstract

We exploit the large inflow of immigrants to the US during the 1870-1920 period to examine the effects that changes in the cultural composition of the population of US counties had on output growth. We construct measures of fractionalization and polarization to distinguish between the different effects of cultural diversity. Our main finding is that increases in cultural fractionalization significantly increased output, while increases in cultural polarization significantly decreased output. We address the issue of identifying the causal effect of cultural diversity on output growth using the supply-push component of immigrant inflows as an instrumental variable.

Suggested Citation

  • Philipp Ager & Markus Bruckner, 2011. "Cultural Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US during the Age of Mass Migration," School of Economics Working Papers 2011-02, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2011-02
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    File URL: http://www.economics.adelaide.edu.au/research/papers/doc/wp2011-02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cultural diversity; economic growth; historical development; immigration;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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