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German Jewish Emigres and US Invention

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Listed:
  • Moser, Petra
  • Voena, Alessandra
  • Waldinger, Fabian

Abstract

Historical accounts suggest that Jewish emigres from Nazi Germany revolutionized US science. To analyze the emigres' effects on chemical innovation in the United States, we compare changes in patenting by US inventors in research fields of emigres with fields of other German chemists. Patenting by US inventors increased by 31 percent in emigre fields. Regressions which instrument for emigre fields with pre-1933 fields of dismissed German chemists confirm a substantial increase in US invention. Inventor-level data indicate that emigres encouraged innovation by attracting new researchers to their fields, rather than by increasing the productivity of incumbent inventors.

Suggested Citation

  • Moser, Petra & Voena, Alessandra & Waldinger, Fabian, 2014. "German Jewish Emigres and US Invention," Munich Reprints in Economics 68900, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:68900
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    1. George J. Borjas & Kirk B. Doran, 2012. "The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Productivity of American Mathematicians," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1143-1203.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • N62 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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