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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. Docquier, Frédéric & Turati, Riccardo & Valette, Jérôme & Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis, 2018. "Birthplace Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US States in the Post-World War II Period," IZA Discussion Papers 11802, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Dany Bahar & Hillel Rapoport & Riccardo Turati, 2019. "Does Birthplace Diversity Affect Economic Complexity? Cross-Country Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 7950, CESifo.
    4. 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.
    5. Burchardi, Konrad B. & Chaney, Thomas & Hassan, Tarek, 2015. "Migrants, Ancestors, and Investments," CEPR Discussion Papers 11025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Konrad B Buchardi & Thomas Chaney & Tarek A Hassan, 2018. "Migrants, Ancestors and Foreign Investments," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/4j5snkuat19, Sciences Po.
    7. 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.
    8. Craig, J. Dean & Faria, Anna B., 2021. "Immigrant nationality and human capital formation in Brazil," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    9. Dany Bahar & Hillel Rapoport & Riccardo Turati, 2019. "Does Birthplace Diversity Affect Economic Complexity? Cross-Country Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 7950, CESifo.
    10. 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.
    11. Jaeger, David A & Ruist, Joakim & Stuhler, Jan, 2018. "Shift-Share Instruments and the Impact of Immigration," CEPR Discussion Papers 12701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. 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).
    13. 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.
    14. Valeria Rueda & Guillaume Laval & Etienne Patin, 2016. "Achieving the American Dream: Cultural Distance, Cultural Diversity and Economic Performance," Oxford Economic and Social History Working Papers _140, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    15. Ager, Philipp & Hansen, Casper Worm, 2017. "Closing Heaven's Door: Evidence from the 1920s U.S. Immigration Quota Acts," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 11/2017, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.
    16. Philipp Ager & Casper Worm Hansen, 2016. "National Immigration Quotas and Local Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 16-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    17. Christopher Ellis & Jon C. Thompson & Jiabin Wu, 2020. "Labor market characteristics and cultural choice," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 22(5), pages 1584-1617, September.
    18. Slichter, David & Taveras, Elisa & Monge, Daniela, 2021. "The Skills of Rich and Poor Country Workers," MPRA Paper 106050, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Arun Advani & Bryony Reich, 2015. "Melting pot or salad bowl: the formation of heterogeneous communities," IFS Working Papers W15/30, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    20. Valeria Rueda, 2016. "When the times they’re not a changin': Essays on the persistent effects of religion, investments, and ancestry on economic, social, and political behaviors at the subnational level," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7t43ra4ari8, Sciences Po.
    21. 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.
    22. Timothy J Hatton & Zachary Ward, 2018. "International Migration in the Atlantic Economy 1850 - 1940," CEH Discussion Papers 02, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

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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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