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How Do Immigrants Promote Exports? Networks, Knowledge, Diversity

Gianluca Orefice, Hillel Rapoport and Gianluca Santoni

No 15722, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: How do immigrants promote exports? To answer this question we propose a unified empirical framework allowing to identify and disentangle the main mechanisms put forth in the literature: the role of networks in reducing bilateral transaction costs, and the productivity shifts arising from migrationinduced knowledge diffusion and increased workforce diversity. While we find evidence supporting all three channels (at both the intensive and the extensive margins of trade), our framework allows to gauge their relative importance. When focusing on diversity, we find stronger results in sectors characterized by more complex production processes and more intense teamwork cooperation. This is consistent with theories linking the distribution of skills to the comparative advantage of nations. The results are robust to using a theoretically-grounded IV approach combining three variations on the shift-share methodology.

Keywords: international trade; birthplace diversity; migration; productivity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F14 F16 F22 O47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 58 pages
Date: 2022-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int, nep-soc and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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