Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity

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Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity

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Title: Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity
Author: Alesina, Alberto Francesco; Harnoss, Johann; Rapoport, Hillel

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Citation: Alesina, Alberto, Johanna Harnoss, and Hillel Rapoport. 2015. Birthplace Diversity and Economic Prosperity. Working papers, Department of Economics, Harvard University.
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Abstract: We propose an index of population diversity based on peopleís birthplaces and decompose it into a size (share of immigrants) and a variety (diversity of immigrants) component. We show that birthplace diversity is largely uncorrelated with ethnic, linguistic or genetic diversity and that the diversity of immigration relates positively to measures of economic prosperity. This holds especially for skilled immigrants in richer countries at intermediate levels of cultural proximity. We address endogeneity by specifying a pseudo-gravity model predicting the size and diversity of immigration. The results are robust across specifications and suggestive of skill-complementarities between immigrants and native workers.
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