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Urban Immigrant Diversity and Inclusive Institutions

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  • Abigail Cooke
  • Thomas Kemeny

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that rising immigrant diversity in cities offers economic benefits, including improved innovation, entrepreneurship and productivity. One potentially important but underexplored dimension of this relationship is how local institutional context shapes the benefits firms and workers receive from the diversity in their midst. Theory suggests that institutions can make it less costly for diverse workers to transact, thereby catalyzing the latent bene ts of heterogeneity. This paper tests the hypothesis that the effects of immigrant diversity on productivity will be stronger in locations featuring more “inclusive" institutions. It leverages comprehensive longitudinal linked employer-employee data for the U.S. and two distinct measures of inclusive institutions at the metropolitan area level: social capital and pro- or anti-immigrant ordinances. Findings confirm the importance of institutional context: in cities with low levels of inclusive institutions, the benefits of diversity are modest and in some cases statistically insignificant; in cities with high levels of inclusive institutions, the benefits of immigrant diversity are positive, significant, and substantial. Moreover, natives residing in cities that have enacted laws restricting immigrants enjoy no diversity spillovers whatsoever, while immigrants in these cities continue to receive a diversity bonus. These results confirm the economic significance of urban immigrant diversity, while suggesting the importance of local social and economic institutions.

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  • Abigail Cooke & Thomas Kemeny, 2016. "Urban Immigrant Diversity and Inclusive Institutions," Working Papers 16-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:16-07
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    3. Roberto Antonietti & Ron Boschma, 2021. "Social capital, resilience, and regional diversification in Italy [Social capital, innovation and growth: evidence from Europe]," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press and the Associazione ICC, vol. 30(3), pages 762-777.
    4. Cooke, Abigail & Kemeny, Thomas, 2017. "Cities, immigrant diversity, and complex problem solving," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 1175-1185.
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    6. Simona Iammarino & Andrés Rodriguez-Pose & Michael Storper, 2019. "Regional inequality in Europe: evidence, theory and policy implications," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 273-298.
    7. Ceren Ozgen, 2021. "The economics of diversity: Innovation, productivity and the labour market," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 1168-1216, September.
    8. Ferrucci, Edoardo & Lissoni, Francesco, 2019. "Foreign inventors in Europe and the United States: Diversity and Patent Quality," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(9), pages 1-1.
    9. von Berlepsch, Viola & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2019. "The missing ingredient: distance internal migration and its long-term economic impact in the United States," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 91716, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Roxana Gutierrez-Romero & Nayeli Salgado, 2022. "New trends in South-South migration: The economic impact of COVID-19 and immigration enforcement," Working Papers 108, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    11. 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.
    12. David C. Maré & Jacques Poot, 2019. "Valuing cultural diversity of cities," Working Papers 19_05, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    13. Ying Zhou & Sajid Anwar, 2022. "Immigrant Diversity, Institutional Quality, and GVC Position," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(4), pages 1-19, February.
    14. Michael Storper, 2018. "Separate Worlds? Explaining the current wave of regional economic polarization," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 247-270.
    15. Andrea Morrison, 2023. "Towards an evolutionary economic geography research agenda to study migration and innovation," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 16(3), pages 529-542.
    16. David C. Maré & Jacques Poot, 2019. "Commuting to diversity," Working Papers 19_20, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    17. Laursen, Keld & Leten, Bart & Nguyen, Ngoc Han & Vancauteren, Mark, 2020. "Mounting corporate innovation performance: The effects of high-skilled migrant hires and integration capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
    18. Silje Haus-Reve & Abigail Cooke, 2019. "Do regional social capital and trust matter for immigrant diversity and wages?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1932, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Nov 2019.
    19. Roxana Guti'errez-Romero & Nayeli Salgado, 2022. "New trends in South-South migration: The economic impact of COVID-19 and immigration enforcement," Papers 2212.12797, arXiv.org.
    20. Annie Tubadji & Valentina Montalto, 2021. "Geographies of Flowers and Geographies of Flower Power," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(24), pages 1-23, December.

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