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Immigrants' Genes: Genetic Diversity and Economics Development in the US

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  • Philipp Ager
  • Markus Brueckner

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between immigrants’ genetic diversity and economic development in the United States during the late 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, a period commonly referred to as the age of mass migration from Europe to the New World. Our panel model estimates show that during this period, immigrants’ genetic diversity is significantly positively correlated with measures of US counties’ economic development. There exists also a significant positive relationship between immigrants’ genetic diversity in 1870 and contemporaneous measures of US counties’ average income. Our findings demonstrate that a significant relationship between genetic diversity and economic growth does not imply that economic development outcomes are deterministic. Episodes of mass immigration, as experienced in the United States during the 19th century, can significantly change the genetic diversity of countries; and by doing so, they affect countries’ development path.

Suggested Citation

  • Philipp Ager & Markus Brueckner, 2017. "Immigrants' Genes: Genetic Diversity and Economics Development in the US," CEH Discussion Papers 10, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:hpaper:061
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    Cited by:

    1. Simplice A. Asongu & Oasis Kodila†Tedika, 2017. "Is Poverty in the African DNA (Gene)?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 85(4), pages 533-552, December.
    2. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2018. "Diversity and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 11553, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2018. "The Macrogenoeconomics of Comparative Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 1119-1155, September.
    4. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Viola Berlepsch, 2019. "Does Population Diversity Matter for Economic Development in the Very Long Term? Historic Migration, Diversity and County Wealth in the US," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 35(5), pages 873-911, December.
    5. C. Justin Cook & Jason M. Fletcher, 2018. "High-school genetic diversity and later-life student outcomes: micro-level evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 307-339, September.
    6. Philipp Ager & Casper Worm Hansen, 2016. "National Immigration Quotas and Local Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 16-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    7. Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Simplice A. Asongu, 2016. "Genetic distance and cognitive human capital: a cross-national investigation," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 33-51, April.
    8. Todea, Alexandru & Petrescu, Daiana Florina, 2021. "Is stock price informativeness shaped by our genes?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
    9. Ventura, Luigi, 2021. "A Note on Migration, Diversity and Economic Growth: a Replication Study of Bove and Elia (World Development, 2017)," MPRA Paper 110512, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Growth; Genetic Diversity; Immigration; Melting Pot;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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