IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity

  • Alesina, Alberto


    (Harvard University)

  • Harnoss, Johann


    (Harvard University)

  • Rapoport, Hillel


    (Paris School of Economics)

We use recent immigration data from 195 countries and propose an index of population diversity based on people's birthplaces. This new index is then decomposed into a size (share of foreign born) and a variety (diversity of immigrants) component and is available for 1990 and 2000 disaggregated by skill level. We show that birthplace diversity is largely uncorrelated with ethnic, linguistic or genetic diversity. Our main result is that the diversity of skilled immigration relates positively to economic development (as measured by income and TFP per capita and patent intensity) even after controlling for ethno-linguistic and genetic fractionalization, geography, trade, education, institutions, and origin-effects capturing income/productivity levels in the immigrants home countries. We make progress towards addressing endogeneity by specifying a gravity model to predict the share and diversity of immigration based on exogenous bilateral variables. The results are robust across various OLS and 2SLS specifications and suggestive of skill complementarities between native workers and immigrants, especially when the latter come from richer countries at intermediate levels of cultural proximity.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7568.

in new window

Length: 64 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7568
Contact details of provider: Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page:

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2013. "How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 325-69, June.
  2. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2007. "Cultural Assimilation, Cultural Diffusion and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 6444, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Bertoli, Simone & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús, 2011. "Multilateral Resistance to Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 5958, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Hong, Lu & Page, Scott E., 2001. "Problem Solving by Heterogeneous Agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 123-163, March.
  5. Oded Galor & Quamrul Ashraf, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," Working Papers 2008-3, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  7. Frédéric DOCQUIER & Çağlar ÖZDEN & Christopher PARSONS & Ehran ARTUC, 2012. "A Global Assessment of Human Capital Mobility: the Role of non-OECD Destinations," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2012022, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  8. Pierpaolo Parrotta & Dario Pozzoli & Mariola Pytlikova, 2011. "Does Labor Diversity affect Firm Productivity?," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2011022, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  9. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," Working Papers 2004.34, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  10. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The log of gravity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3744, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Ozgen, Ceren & Nijkamp, Peter & Poot, Jacques, 2013. "Measuring Cultural Diversity and its Impact on Innovation: Longitudinal Evidence from Dutch Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 7129, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Philipp Ager & Markus Bruckner, 2011. "Cultural Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US during the Age of Mass Migration," School of Economics Working Papers 2011-02, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  13. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Political Economy of Ethnolinguistic Cleavages," NBER Working Papers 15360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Raja Kali & Fabio Mendez & Javier Reyes, 2007. "Trade structure and economic growth," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 245-269.
  15. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Effect of Trade and Migration on Income," Working Papers 1213, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  16. Alesina, Alberto, et al, 2003. " Fractionalization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 155-94, June.
  17. Frankel, Jeffrey & Stein, Ernesto & Wei, Shang-jin, 1995. "Trading blocs and the Americas: The natural, the unnatural, and the super-natural," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 61-95, June.
  18. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2009. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 110, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  19. Trax, Michaela & Brunow, Stephan & Suedekum, Jens, 2013. "Cultural diversity and plant-level productivity," DICE Discussion Papers 119, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  20. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  21. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro & Frank Windmeijer, 2010. "Is it different for zeros? Discriminating between models for non-negative data with many zeros," CeMMAP working papers CWP20/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  22. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2012. "The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," IZA Discussion Papers 6330, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 2001. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 261-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Hoogendoorn, Sander M. & van Praag, Mirjam C., 2012. "Ethnic Diversity and Team Performance: A Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6731, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  26. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Hiller, Sanne & Sala, Davide, 2010. "Does immigration boost per capita income?," Munich Reprints in Economics 20582, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  27. Ortega, Francesc & Peri, Giovanni, 2013. "Migration, Trade and Income," IZA Discussion Papers 7325, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Globalization, Brain Drain and Development," Working Papers 2011-18, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  29. Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  30. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran & Viarengo, Martina, 2013. "The Making of Modern America: Migratory Flows in the Age of Mass Migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 23-47.
  31. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2013. "Genetic Diversity and the Origins of Cultural Fragmentation," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 125, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  32. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer & John Ries, 2011. "The erosion of colonial trade linkages after independence," Post-Print hal-01024396, HAL.
  33. Giuliano, Paola & Spilimbergo, Antonio & Tonon, Giovanni, 2006. "Genetic, Cultural and Geographical Distances," IZA Discussion Papers 2229, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  34. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2011. "Eight Questions about Brain Drain," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1111, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  35. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2009. "Further Simulation Evidence on the Performance of the Poisson Pseudo-Maximum Likelihood Estimator," CEP Discussion Papers dp0933, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  36. Isphording, Ingo E. & Otten, Sebastian, 2012. "The Costs of Babylon – Linguistic Distance in Applied Economics," Ruhr Economic Papers 337, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  37. Patricia Beeson & Tara Watson & Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2010. "Local Fiscal Policies and Urban Wage Structures," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  38. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration: The role of migration networks," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0701, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  39. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Simone BERTOLI, 2010. "Networks, Sorting and Self-selection of Ecuadorian Migrants," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 97-98, pages 261-288.
  41. Markus Frölich, 2008. "Parametric and Nonparametric Regression in the Presence of Endogenous Control Variables," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 76(2), pages 214-227, 08.
  42. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  43. Alberto Alesina & Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2012. "Ethnic Inequality," Working Papers 2012-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  44. Anna Maria Mayda, 2004. "Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," Development Working Papers 187, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  45. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
  46. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2007. "International Migration: A Panel Data Analysis of the Determinants of Bilateral Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 6289, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  47. Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  48. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  49. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  50. Edward P. Lazear, 1998. "Globalization and the Market for Teammates," NBER Working Papers 6579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  51. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2010. "Europe's Tired, Poor, Huddled Masses: Self-Selection and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration," Discussion Papers 09-029, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  52. Caglar Ozden & Christopher R. Parsons & Maurice Schiff & Terrie L. Walmsley, 2011. "Where on Earth is Everybody? The Evolution of Global Bilateral Migration 1960-2000," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 12-56, May.
  53. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Ralph Ossa, 2011. "A Global View of Productivity Growth in China," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd10-166, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  54. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519.
  55. René Böheim & Thomas Horvath & Karin Mayr, 2012. "Birthplace Diversity of the Workforce and Productivity Spill-overs in Firms," WIFO Working Papers 438, WIFO.
  56. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Measuring international skilled migration: a new database controlling for age of entry," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10411, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  57. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2012. "Cultural Diversity, Geographical Isolation, and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations," IZA Discussion Papers 6319, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  58. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
  59. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 1997. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," NBER Working Papers 6163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  60. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," Working Papers 96, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  61. Lewer, Joshua J. & Van den Berg, Hendrik, 2008. "A gravity model of immigration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 164-167, April.
  62. Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, 2013. "The log of gravity revisited," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 311-327, January.
  63. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  64. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  65. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Culture and Language," NBER Working Papers 5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  66. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  67. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  68. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Income Maximization and the Selection and Sorting of International Migrants," NBER Working Papers 13821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  69. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  70. Antonio Spilimbergo, 2009. "Democracy and Foreign Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 528-43, March.
  71. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Ralph Ossa, 2011. "A Global View of Productivity Growth in China," NBER Working Papers 16778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7568. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.