Birthplace Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US States in the Post-World War II Period

56 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2018

See all articles by Frédéric Docquier

Frédéric Docquier

Université catholique de Louvain; CREAM, Centre for Research on Environmental Appraisal & Management, UK; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Riccardo Turati

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - School of Economic and Social Research (IRES)

Jérôme Valette

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES)

Chrysovalantis Vasilakis

Bangor Business School; Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

This paper empirically revisits the impact of birthplace diversity on economic growth. We use panel data on US states over the 1960-2010 period. This rich data set allows us to better deal with endogeneity issues and to conduct a large set of robustness checks. Our results suggest that diversity among college-educated immigrants positively affects economic growth. We provide converging evidence pointing at the existence of skill complementarities between workers trained in different countries.These synergies result in better labor market outcomes for native workers and in higher productivity in the R&D sector. The gains from diversity are maximized when immigrants originate from economically or culturally distant countries (but not both), and when they acquired part of their secondary education abroad and their college education in the US. Overall, a 10% increase in high-skilled diversity raises GDP per capita by about 6%. On the contrary, low-skilled diversity has insignificant effects.

Keywords: immigration culture, birthplace diversity growth

JEL Classification: F22, J61

Suggested Citation

Docquier, Frédéric and Turati, Riccardo and Valette, Jérôme and Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis, Birthplace Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US States in the Post-World War II Period. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11802. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3253460

Frédéric Docquier (Contact Author)

Université catholique de Louvain ( email )

IRES
Place Montesquieu 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://perso.uclouvain.be/frederic.docquier/

CREAM, Centre for Research on Environmental Appraisal & Management, UK

University of Newcastle
NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Riccardo Turati

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - School of Economic and Social Research (IRES) ( email )

3, Place Montesquieu
1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Belgium

Jérôme Valette

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne (CES) ( email )

106-112 Boulevard de l'hopital
106-112 Boulevard de l'Hôpital
Paris Cedex 13, 75647
France

Chrysovalantis Vasilakis

Bangor Business School ( email )

Bangor Business School
College Road
Gwynedd LL57 2DG, Wales LL57 2DG
United Kingdom

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
B1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

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