NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity

Alberto Alesina, Johann Harnoss, Hillel Rapoport

NBER Working Paper No. 18699
Issued in January 2013
NBER Program(s):   POL

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 progress towards addressing endogeneity by specifying a gravity model to predict the share and diversity of immigration based on exogenous bilateral variables. The results are robust across various OLS and 2SLS specifications and suggestive of skill complementarities between native workers and immigrants, especially when the latter come from richer countries at intermediate levels of cultural proximity.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

This paper was revised on August 15, 2013

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18699

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Alesina, Michalopoulos, and Papaioannou w18512 Ethnic Inequality
Alesina and Giuliano w18966 Family Ties
Alesina and La Ferrara w10313 Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance
Alesina, Algan, Cahuc, and Giuliano w15747 Family Values and the Regulation of Labor
Alesina and Reich w18839 Nation Building
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us