Resident Networks and Corporate Connections: Evidence from World War II Internment Camps

80 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2013 Last revised: 24 Nov 2016

See all articles by Lauren Cohen

Lauren Cohen

Harvard University - Business School (HBS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Umit G. Gurun

University of Texas at Dallas

Christopher J. Malloy

Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Arrowstreet Capital, LP

Date Written: November 23, 2016

Abstract

Using customs and port authority data, we show that firms are significantly more likely to trade with countries that have a large resident population near their firm headquarters, and that these connected trades are their most valuable international trades. Using the formation of World War II Japanese Internment Camps to isolate exogenous shocks to local ethnic populations, we identify a causal link between local networks and firm trade. Firms are also more likely to acquire target firms, and report increased segment sales, in connected countries. Our results point to a surprisingly large role of immigrants as economic conduits for firms.

Keywords: Information networks, trade links, firm behavior

JEL Classification: F16, F30, G14

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Lauren and Gurun, Umit G. and Malloy, Christopher J., Resident Networks and Corporate Connections: Evidence from World War II Internment Camps (November 23, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2370091 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2370091

Lauren Cohen

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.people.hbs.edu/lcohen

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Umit G. Gurun (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.umitgurun.com

Christopher J. Malloy

Harvard Business School ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Arrowstreet Capital, LP ( email )

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