NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Hillel Rapoport

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Working Papers

January 2013Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity
with Alberto Alesina, Johann Harnoss: w18699
We use recent immigration data from 195 countries and propose an index of population diversity based on people's birthplaces. This new index is then decomposed into a size (share of foreign born) and a variety (diversity of immigrants) component and is available for 1990 and 2000 disaggregated by skill level. We show that birthplace diversity is largely uncorrelated with ethnic, linguistic, or genetic diversity. Our main result is that the diversity of skilled immigration relates positively to economic development (as measured by income and TFP per capita and patent intensity) even after controlling for ethno-linguistic and genetic fractionalization, geography, trade, education, institutions and origin-effects capturing income/productivity levels in the immigrants' home countries. We make ...

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