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Immigrants' Genes: Genetic Diversity and Economic Development in the US

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  • Ager, Philipp
  • Brückner, Markus

Abstract

We examine the effect of genetic diversity on economic development in the United States. Our estimation strategy exploits that immigrants from different countries of origin differed in their genetic diversity and that these immigrants settled in different regions. Based on a sample of over 2250 counties, we find that increases in genetic diversity of US counties that arose due to immigration during the 19th century had a significant positive effect on US counties' economic development. We also detect a significant positive long-run effect of 19th century immigrants' genetic diversity on contemporaneous measures of income.

Suggested Citation

  • Ager, Philipp & Brückner, Markus, 2013. "Immigrants' Genes: Genetic Diversity and Economic Development in the US," MPRA Paper 51906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:51906
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2012. "Europe's Tired, Poor, Huddled Masses: Self-Selection and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1832-1856, August.
    2. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2013. "How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 325-369, June.
    3. Louis Putterman & David N. Weil, 2010. "Post-1500 Population Flows and The Long-Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1627-1682.
    4. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "Genetic Diversity and the Origins of Cultural Fragmentation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 528-533, May.
    5. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519.
    6. Ager, Philipp & Brückner, Markus, 2013. "Cultural diversity and economic growth: Evidence from the US during the age of mass migration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 76-97.
    7. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Simplice A. Asongu & Oasis Kodila†Tedika, 2017. "Is Poverty in the African DNA (Gene)?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 85(4), pages 533-552, December.
    2. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Viola Berlepsch, 2019. "Does Population Diversity Matter for Economic Development in the Very Long Term? Historic Migration, Diversity and County Wealth in the US," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 35(5), pages 873-911, December.
    3. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2018. "The Macrogenoeconomics of Comparative Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 1119-1155, September.
    4. Philipp Ager & Casper Worm Hansen, 2016. "National Immigration Quotas and Local Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 16-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    5. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2018. "Diversity and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 11553, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Simplice A. Asongu, 2016. "Genetic distance and cognitive human capital: a cross-national investigation," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 33-51, April.
    7. C. Justin Cook & Jason M. Fletcher, 2018. "High-school genetic diversity and later-life student outcomes: micro-level evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 307-339, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Growth; Genetic Diversity; Immigration; Melting Pot;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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