Paris School of Economics
48 Bd Jourdan
Institutional Affiliation: Paris School of Economics
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2018||Forced Migration and Human Capital: Evidence from Post-WWII Population Transfers|
with Sascha O. Becker, Pauline Grosjean, Nico Voigtländer, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya: w24704
We exploit a unique historical setting to study the long-run effects of forced migration on investment in education. After World War II, the Polish borders were redrawn, resulting in large-scale migration. Poles were forced to move from the Kresy territories in the East (taken over by the USSR) and were resettled mostly to the newly acquired Western Territories, from which Germans were expelled. We combine historical censuses with newly collected survey data to show that, while there were no pre-WWII differences in education, Poles with a family history of forced migration are significantly more educated today. Descendants of forced migrants have on average one extra year of schooling, driven by a higher propensity to finish secondary or higher education. This result holds when we restrict...