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Minorities, Human Capital and Long-Run Development: Persistence of Armenian and Greek Influence in Turkey

Author

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  • Cemal Eren Arbatli
  • Gunes Gokmen

Abstract

We study the long-term economic legacy of highly-skilled minorities a century after their wholesale expulsion. Using mass expulsions of Armenian and Greek communities of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century as a unique natural experiment of history, we show that districts with greater presence of Armenian and Greek minorities at the end of the 19th century are systematically more densely populated, more urbanized, and more developed today. Results are robust to accounting for an extensive set of geographical and historical factors of development and minority settlement patterns. Matching type estimators, instrumental variable regressions, and a sub-province level case study corroborate our findings. Importantly, we provide evidence on the channels of persistence. Armenian and Greek contribution to long-run development is largely mediated by their legacy on local human capital accumulation. In comparison, the mediating effect of minority asset transfer on development appears less important.

Suggested Citation

  • Cemal Eren Arbatli & Gunes Gokmen, 2016. "Minorities, Human Capital and Long-Run Development: Persistence of Armenian and Greek Influence in Turkey," CESifo Working Paper Series 6268, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6268
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp6268.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hornung, Erik, 2018. "Diasporas, Diversity, and Economic Activity: Evidence from 18th-century Berlin," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 390, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    2. Grosfeld, Irena & Sakalli, Seyhun Orcan & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2017. "Middleman Minorities and Ethnic Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms in the Russian Empire," CEPR Discussion Papers 12154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; economic development; expulsion; minorities; ethnicity; Armenians; Greeks; persistence;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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