Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity
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We propose an index of population diversity based on people’s 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 immigrants 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.
KeywordsBirthplace diversity Immigration Culture Economic development
JEL ClassificationO1 O4 F22 F43
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