IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Cultural diversity and plant‐level productivity

  • Michaela Trax


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

  • Stephan Brunow


    (Institute of Employment Research (IAB))

  • Jens Suedekum


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

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.

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 Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London in its series Norface Discussion Paper Series with number 2012029.

in new window

Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nor:wpaper:2012029
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Drayton House, 30 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AX

Phone: +44 (0)20 7679 5888
Fax: +44 (0)20 7916 2775
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Bartel, Ann P, 1989. "Where Do the New U.S. Immigrants Live?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 371-91, October.
  2. Joachim Wagner, 2007. "Exports and Productivity: A Survey of the Evidence from Firm-level Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 60-82, 01.
  3. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," CESifo Working Paper Series 1117, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Johann Harnoss & Hillel Rapoport, 2016. "Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 101-138, June.
  5. Suedekum, Jens & Wolf, Katja & Blien, Uwe, 2009. "Cultural Diversity and Local Labour Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 4619, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Audretsch, David B & Dohse, Dirk & Niebuhr, Annekatrin, 2008. "Cultural Diversity and Entrepreneurship: A Regional Analysis for Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 6945, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 1999. "Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  11. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1993. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 4313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Francesco D'Amuri & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "Immigration, jobs and employment protection: evidence from Europe before and during the Great Recession," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 886, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  13. Marcus BERLIANT & FUJITA Masahisa, 2011. "Culture and Diversity in Knowledge Creation," Discussion papers 11046, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  14. Marcus Berliant & Masahisa Fujita, 2004. "Knowledge Creation as a Square Dance on the Hilbert Cube," Game Theory and Information 0401004, EconWPA, revised 27 Jan 2004.
  15. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan & Suedekum, Jens & Lameli, Alfred, 2014. "Why are educated and risk-loving persons more mobile across regions?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 56-69.
  16. 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).
  17. Ilke Van Beveren, 2012. "Total Factor Productivity Estimation: A Practical Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 98-128, 02.
  18. Giovanni Peri & Francisco Requena, 2009. "The Trade Creation Effect of Immigrants: Evidence from the Remarkable Case of Spain," NBER Working Papers 15625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  20. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
  21. Carmine Ornaghi, 2006. "Assessing the effects of measurement errors on the estimation of production functions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 879-891.
  22. Barton H. Hamilton & Jack A. Nickerson & Hideo Owan, 2003. "Team Incentives and Worker Heterogeneity: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Teams on Productivity and Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 465-497, June.
  23. Chad Sparber, 2009. "Racial Diversity and Aggregate Productivity in U.S. Industries: 1980–2000," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 829–856, January.
  24. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," NBER Working Papers 11547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Leo Kahane & Neil Longley & Robert Simmons, 2013. "The Effects of Coworker Heterogeneity on Firm-Level Output: Assessing the Impacts of Cultural and Language Diversity in the National Hockey League," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 302-314, March.
  26. David Roodman, 2006. "How to Do xtabond2: An Introduction to "Difference" and "System" GMM in Stata," Working Papers 103, Center for Global Development.
  27. Gnanaraj Chellaraj & Keith E. Maskus & Aaditya Mattoo, 2008. "The Contribution of International Graduate Students to US Innovation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 444-462, 08.
  28. BOSSERT, Walter & D’AMBROSIO, Conchita & LA FERRARA, Eliana, 2008. "A Generalized Index of Fractionalization," Cahiers de recherche 01-2008, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  29. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2009. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 135-69, July.
  30. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Kristina Tobio, 2010. "Cities, skills, and regional change," Economics Working Papers 1255, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2011.
  31. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2004. "Cities and Cultures," CEPR Discussion Papers 4438, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  32. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  33. Ortega, Francesc & Peri, Giovanni, 2014. "Openness and income: The roles of trade and migration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 231-251.
  34. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1999. "GMM estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," IFS Working Papers W99/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  35. Lazear, Edward P, 1999. "Globalisation and the Market for Team-Mates," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C15-40, March.
  36. Ceren Ozgen, 2011. "The Impact of Cultural Diversity on Innovation: Evidence from Dutch Firm-Level Data," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2011013, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  37. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Pozzoli, Dario & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2012. "Does Labor Diversity Affect Firm Productivity?," IZA Discussion Papers 6973, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  38. Conyon, Martin J, et al, 2002. "The Productivity and Wage Effects of Foreign Acquisition in the United Kingdom," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 85-102, March.
  39. Niebuhr, Annekatrin, 2006. "Migration and innovation: Does cultural diversity matter for regional R&D activity?," IAB Discussion Paper 200614, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  40. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2004. "Robustness of Productivity Estimates," NBER Working Papers 10303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Tor Jakob Klette & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "The Inconsistency of Common Scales Estimators when Output Prices are Unobserved and Endogenous," Discussion Papers 127, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  42. Stephan Brunow & Georg Hirte, 2009. "The age pattern of human capital and regional productivity: A spatial econometric study on german regions," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(4), pages 799-823, November.
  43. Zwick, Thomas, 2004. "Employee participation and productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 715-740, December.
  44. Max Nathan, 2011. "The Economics of Super-Diversity: Findings from British Cities, 2001-2006," SERC Discussion Papers 0068, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  45. Edward L. Glaeser, Jed Kolko, and Albert Saiz, 2001. "Consumer city," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 27-50, January.
  46. Max Nathan, 2011. "The economics of super-diversity: findings from British cities, 2001-2006," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33578, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  47. Gerdes, Christer, 2010. "Using "Shares" vs. "Log of Shares" in Fixed-Effect Estimations," IZA Discussion Papers 5171, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  48. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  49. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
  50. Mayr, Karin & Böheim, Rene & Horvath, Thomas, 2013. "Birthplace diversity of the workforce and productivity spill-overs in firms," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79890, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  51. Chad Sparber, 2010. "Racial Diversity and Macroeconomic Productivity across US States and Cities," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 71-85.
  52. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2009. "On estimating firm-level production functions using proxy variables to control for unobservables," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 112-114, September.
  53. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  54. James E. Rauch, 1996. "Networks versus Markets in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 5617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  55. Henderson, J. Vernon, 2003. "Marshall's scale economies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-28, January.
  56. Steve Bond, 2002. "Dynamic panel data models: a guide to microdata methods and practice," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  57. Sara Fisher Ellison & Wallace P. Mullin, 2014. "Diversity, Social Goods Provision, and Performance in the Firm," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 465-481, 06.
  58. David Roodman, 2009. "A Note on the Theme of Too Many Instruments," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(1), pages 135-158, 02.
  59. Francesco D'Amuri & Giovanni Peri, 2010. "Immigration and Occupations in Europe," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1026, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  60. Neil Lee, 2015. "Migrant and ethnic diversity, cities and innovation: Firm effects or city effects?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(4), pages 769-796.
  61. Ozgen, Ceren & Nijkamp, Peter & Poot, Jacques, 2011. "The Impact of Cultural Diversity on Innovation: Evidence from Dutch Firm-Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6000, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  62. Hethey, Tanja & Schmieder, Johannes F., 2010. "Using worker flows in the analysis of establishment turnover : evidence from German administrative data," FDZ Methodenreport 201006_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  63. Enrico Moretti, 2004. "Workers' Education, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 656-690, June.
  64. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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:nor:wpaper:2012029. 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: (Norface Migration Administrator)

or (Thomas Cornelissen)

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.