The Economic Legacy of Expulsion: Lessons from Postwar Czechoslovakia

48 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2018 Last revised: 3 Aug 2020

See all articles by Patrick Testa

Patrick Testa

Tulane University, Department of Economics; Tulane University - The Murphy Institute

Date Written: July 31, 2020


This paper examines the long-run effects of forced migration on economic development in the origin economy, using Czechoslovakia's expulsion of 3 million Germans after WWII. For identification, I use the discontinuity in ethnic composition at the border of the "Sudetenland" region where Germans lived. Germans had similar characteristics to Czechs, bypassing factors driving effects in other cases of forced migration, such as differences in human capital. The expulsion produced persistent disparities in population density, sector composition, and educational attainment. I trace effects to a selective initial resettlement and capital extraction after the expulsion, causing urban decay and human capital decline

Keywords: Expulsion, forced migration, local development, postwar, nationalism

JEL Classification: D74, N34, N94, R12, O15, I25

Suggested Citation

Testa, Patrick, The Economic Legacy of Expulsion: Lessons from Postwar Czechoslovakia (July 31, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Patrick Testa (Contact Author)

Tulane University, Department of Economics ( email )

New Orleans, LA
United States

Tulane University - The Murphy Institute ( email )

6823 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

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