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Growth effects of 19th century mass migrations: "Fome Zero" for Brazil


  • Stolz, Yvonne
  • Baten, Jörg
  • Botelho, Tarcísio


We estimate a long-run trend of Brazilian human capital that extends back to the very beginning of the 18th century. With new data on selective immigration during the era of mass migrations at the end of the 19th century, we show that human capital endowment of international migrants can induce effects on economic development that persist until today. According to our estimations, the effect of selective immigration on real GDP per capita in the year 2000 is significant and equals around 75 US $ overall. As a reference, this value equals the amount poor Brazilians get to supplement their subsistence in the Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) program. We argue that human capital formation is a highly path-dependent and persistent process.

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  • Stolz, Yvonne & Baten, Jörg & Botelho, Tarcísio, 2011. "Growth effects of 19th century mass migrations: "Fome Zero" for Brazil," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 20, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuewef:20

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. de Carvalho Filho, Irineu & Monasterio, Leonardo, 2012. "Immigration and the origins of regional inequality: Government-sponsored European migration to southern Brazil before World War I," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 794-807.
    2. Bruno Gabriel Witzel de Souza, 2016. "Subsidies to the History of the German-Speaking Immigration to the Province / State of São Paulo, Brazil (1840-1920)," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 233, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Bruno Gabriel Witzel de Souza, 2016. "Immigration and the Path-Dependence of Education: German-Speaking Immigrants, On-the-Job Skills, and Ethnic Schools in São Paulo, Brazil (1840-1920)," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 234, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item


    migration; economic growth; Brazil; human capital; path dependency;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative

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