Immigrant Communities and Knowledge Spillovers: Danish-Americans and the Development of the Dairy Industry in the United States

43 Pages Posted: 30 May 2019 Last revised: 10 Jun 2019

See all articles by Nina Boberg-Fazlic

Nina Boberg-Fazlic

University of Southern Denmark

Paul Richard Sharp

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics

Date Written: May 2019

Abstract

Despite the growing literature on the impact of immigration, little is known about the role existing migrant settlements can play for knowledge transmission. We present a case which can illustrate this important mechanism and hypothesize that nineteenth century Danish-American communities helped spread knowledge on modern dairying to rural America. From around 1880, Denmark developed rapidly and by 1890 it was a world-leading dairy producer. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, and data taken from the US census and Danish emigration archives, we find that counties with more Danes in 1880 subsequently both specialized in dairying and used more modern practices.

Keywords: dairying, Immigration, Knowledge Spillovers, technology

JEL Classification: F22, J61, N11, N31, N51, O33, Q16

Suggested Citation

Boberg-Fazlic, Nina and Sharp, Paul Richard, Immigrant Communities and Knowledge Spillovers: Danish-Americans and the Development of the Dairy Industry in the United States (May 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13757. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3395195

Nina Boberg-Fazlic (Contact Author)

University of Southern Denmark ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000
Denmark

Paul Richard Sharp

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

DK-5230 Odense
Denmark

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