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German-Jewish Emigres and U.S. Invention

Petra Moser, Alessandra Voena and Fabian Waldinger

No 19962, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Historical accounts suggest that Jewish émigrés from Nazi Germany revolutionized U.S. science. To analyze the émigrés' effects on chemical innovation in the U.S. we compare changes in patenting by U.S. inventors in research fields of émigrés with fields of other German chemists. Patenting by U.S. inventors increased by 31 percent in émigré fields. Regressions that instrument for émigré fields with pre-1933 fields of dismissed German chemists confirm a substantial increase in U.S. invention. Inventor-level data indicate that émigrés encouraged innovation by attracting new researchers to their fields, rather than by increasing the productivity of incumbent inventors.

JEL-codes: J61 N12 O3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-ino, nep-ipr and nep-pr~
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Published as Moser, Petra, Alessandra Voena, and Fabian Waldinger. 2014. "German Jewish Émigrés and US Invention." American Economic Review, 104 (10): 3222-55.

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