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Cultural diversity and plant-level productivity

Author

Listed:
  • Michaela Trax

    (Mercator School of Management, University of Duisburg-Essen)

  • Stephan Brunow

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB))

  • Jens Suedekum

    (Mercator School of Management, University of Duisburg-Essen)

Abstract

Using comprehensive data for German establishments (1999-2008), we estimate plant-level production functions to analyze if 'cultural diversity' affects total factor productivity. We distinguish diversity in the establishment's workforce and in the aggregate regional labor force where the plant is located. We find that a larger share of foreign workers –either in the establishment or in the region –does not affect productivity. However, there are strong spillovers associated with the degree of cultural heterogeneity. The aggregate level is, quantitatively, at least as important as the workforce composition inside the establishment. Diversity thus seems to induce externalities beyond the boundaries of a single firm; it improves local business environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Michaela Trax & Stephan Brunow & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "Cultural diversity and plant-level productivity," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1223, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1223
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cultural diversity; plant-level productivity; knowledge spillovers.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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