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Does It Matter Where You Came From? Ancestry Composition and Economic Performance of U.S. Counties, 1850-2010

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Listed:
  • Scott Fulford

    (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

  • Ivan Petkov

    (Northeastern University)

  • Fabio Schiantarelli

    (Boston College
    IZA)

Abstract

What impact do immigrants and their descendants have in the short and long term? The answer depends on the attributes they bring with them, what they pass on to their children, and how they interact with other groups. We develop the first measures of the country-of-ancestry composition and GDP per worker for US counties from 1850 to 2010. We show that ancestry groups have different impacts on county productivity. Groups from countries with higher economic development, with cultural traits that favor cooperation, and with a long history of a centralized state have a greater positive impact on county GDP per worker. Ancestry diversity is positively related to county GDP per worker, while diversity in origin-country economic development or culture is negatively related.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Fulford & Ivan Petkov & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2015. "Does It Matter Where You Came From? Ancestry Composition and Economic Performance of U.S. Counties, 1850-2010," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 875, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 19 Apr 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:875
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    Cited by:

    1. Frédéric Docquier & Riccardo Turati & Jérôme Valette & Chrysovalantis Vasilakis, 2016. "Multiculturalism and Growth: Skill-Specific Evidence from the Post-World War II Period," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2016028, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    2. Konrad B Burchardi & Thomas Chaney & Tarek A Hassan, 2019. "Migrants, Ancestors, and Foreign Investments," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(4), pages 1448-1486.
    3. Hasan, Iftekhar & Manfredonia, Stefano & Noth, Felix, 2021. "Cultural resilience, religion, and economic recovery: Evidence from the 2005 hurricane season," IWH Discussion Papers 9/2021, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    4. Frédéric Docquier & Riccardo Turati & Jérôme Valette & Chrysovalantis Vasilakis, 2020. "Birthplace diversity and economic growth: evidence from the US states in the Post-World War II period [Cultural diversity and economic growth: evidence from the US during the age of mass migration]," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 321-354.
    5. Dany Bahar & Hillel Rapoport & Riccardo Turati, 2019. "Does Birthplace Diversity Affect Economic Complexity ? Cross-Country Evidence," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2019020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    6. Paola Giuliano & Marco Tabellini, 2020. "The Seeds of Ideology: Historical Immigration and Political Preferences in the United States," NBER Working Papers 27238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Burchardi, Konrad B. & Chaney, Thomas & Hassan, Tarek, 2015. "Migrants, Ancestors, and Investments," CEPR Discussion Papers 11025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Konrad B Buchardi & Thomas Chaney & Tarek A Hassan, 2018. "Migrants, Ancestors and Foreign Investments," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/4j5snkuat19, Sciences Po.
    9. Sandra Sequeira & Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2020. "Immigrants and the Making of America," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 382-419.
    10. Craig, J. Dean & Faria, Anna B., 2021. "Immigrant nationality and human capital formation in Brazil," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    11. Sandra Sequeira & Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2017. "Migrants and the Making of America: The Shortand Long-Run Effects of Immigration During the Age of Mass Migration," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(03), pages 30-34, October.
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    13. Hirsch, Barry & Husain, Muhammad M. & Winters, John V., 2016. "The Puzzling Fixity of Multiple Job Holding across Regions and Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 9631, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    22. Oriana Bandiera & Myra Mohnen & Imran Rasul & Martina Viarengo, 2019. "Nation-building Through Compulsory Schooling during the Age of Mass Migration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(617), pages 62-109.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Ethnicity; Ancestry; Economic Development; Culture; Institutions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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