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Mass Migration and Technological Change

David Andersson (), Mounir Karadja and Erik Prawitz ()

No 74ub8, SocArXiv from Center for Open Science

Abstract: This paper studies the effect of emigration on technological change in sending locations after one of the largest migration events in human history, the mass migration from Europe to the United States in the 19th century. To establish causality, we adopt an instrumental variable strategy that combines local growing-season frost shocks with proximity to emigration ports. We document two sets of results. First, using novel data on technological patents, we find that emigration led to an increase in innovative activity in sending municipalities. Moreover, the increase in innovation is coupled with an increased adoption of new technologies in both the agricultural and industrial sectors. Second, in terms of local economic development, we find that emigration led to higher unskilled wages in agriculture, a shift towards employment in the nascent industrial sector, a larger presence of incorporated firms, as well as higher tax revenues.

Date: 2020-03-20
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gro, nep-his, nep-ino, nep-int, nep-mig and nep-tid
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:osf:socarx:74ub8

DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/74ub8

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