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Immigration and Product Diversity

46 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2009 Last revised: 19 Sep 2010

Francesca Mazzolari

University of California, Irvine; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

David Neumark

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: April 2009

Abstract

We study the effects of immigration on the diversity of consumption choices. Data from California in the 1990s indicate that immigration is associated with fewer stand-alone retail stores, and a greater number of large and in particular big-box retailers - evidence that likely contradicts a diversity-enhancing effect of immigration. In contrast, focusing on the restaurant sector for which we can better identify the types of products consumed by customers, we find that immigration is associated with increased ethnic diversity of restaurants. This latter effect appears to come in part from the comparative advantage of immigrants in the production of ethnic goods.

Suggested Citation

Mazzolari, Francesca and Neumark, David, Immigration and Product Diversity (April 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w14900. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1391847

Francesca Mazzolari

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 62697-3125
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

David Neumark (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States
949-824-8496 (Phone)
949-824-2182 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~dneumark/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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