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Immigrant Communities and Knowledge Spillovers: Danish-Americans and the Development of the Dairy Industry in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Nina Boberg-Fazlić

    (University of Southern Denmark)

  • Paul Sharp

    (University of Southern Denmark)

Abstract

Despite the growing literature on the impact of immigration, little is known about the role existing migrant settlements can play for knowledge transmission. We present a case which can illustrate this important mechanism and hypothesize that nineteenth century Danish-American communities helped spread knowledge on modern dairying to rural America. From around 1880, Denmark developed rapidly and by 1890 it was a world-leading dairy producer. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, and data taken from the US census and Danish emigration archives, we find that counties with more Danes in 1880 subsequently both specialized in dairying and used more modern practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Nina Boberg-Fazlić & Paul Sharp, 2019. "Immigrant Communities and Knowledge Spillovers: Danish-Americans and the Development of the Dairy Industry in the United States," Working Papers 0155, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  • Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0155
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dairying; immigration; knowledge spillovers; technology;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N51 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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