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