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Cultural Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US during the Age of Mass Migration

Philipp Ager () and Markus Brückner ()

No 2011-02, School of Economics Working Papers from University of Adelaide, School of Economics

Abstract: We exploit the large inflow of immigrants to the US during the 1870-1920 period to examine the effects that changes in the cultural composition of the population of US counties had on output growth. We construct measures of fractionalization and polarization to distinguish between the different effects of cultural diversity. Our main finding is that increases in cultural fractionalization significantly increased output, while increases in cultural polarization significantly decreased output. We address the issue of identifying the causal effect of cultural diversity on output growth using the supply-push component of immigrant inflows as an instrumental variable.

Keywords: cultural diversity; economic growth; historical development; immigration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 Z1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 43 pages
Date: 2011-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-his and nep-mig
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Related works:
Journal Article: Cultural diversity and economic growth: Evidence from the US during the age of mass migration (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Cultural diversity and economic growth: evidence from the USA during the age of mass migration (2011) Downloads
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