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Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity

Alberto Alesina, Johann Harnoss () and Hillel Rapoport

No 1304, CReAM Discussion Paper Series from Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London

Abstract: The diversity of people has economic costs and benefits. Using recent immigration data from 195 countries, we propose an index of diversity based on people's birthplaces. This new index is decomposed into a ' size' (share of foreign born) and a ' variety' (diversity of immigrants) component and is available for 1990 and 2000 and for the overall as well as for the high (workers with college education) and low-skill fractions of the workforce. We show that birthplace diversity is largely uncorrelated with ethnic and linguistic fractionalization and that - unlike fractionalization - it is positively related to economic development even after controlling for education, institutions, ethnic and linguistic fractionalization, trade openness, geography, market size, and origin-effects. This positive association appears particularly strong for the diversity of skilled immigrants in richer countries. We make progress towards addressing endogeneity by specifying a gravity model to predict the diversity of immigration based on exogenous bilateral variables. The results are robust across various OLS and 2SLS specifications.

Keywords: Birthplace diversity; ethnic diversity; economic growth; productivity; immigration. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 O4 F22 F43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-dev, nep-evo, nep-geo and nep-mig
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Related works:
Journal Article: Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity (2016)
Working Paper: Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity (2016)
Working Paper: Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity (2016)
Working Paper: Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity (2016)
Working Paper: Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity (2013) Downloads
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