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Mass Migration, Cheap Labor, and Innovation
Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Economics, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Stockholm, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Journal of Economic History, ISSN 0022-0507, E-ISSN 1471-6372, Vol. 78, no 2, p. 623-623Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Migration is often depicted as a major problem for struggling developing countries,as they may lose valuable workers and human capital. Yet, its effects on sendingregions are ambiguous and depend crucially on local market responses and migrantselection. This paper studies the effects of migration on technological innovation insending communities during one of the largest migration episodes in human history:the Age of Mass Migration (1850–1913). Using novel historical data on Sweden, whereabout a quarter of its population migrated, we find that migration caused an increasein technological patents in sending municipalities. To establish causality, we use aninstrumental variable design that exploits severe local growing season frost shocks to-gether with within-country travel costs to reach an emigration port. Exploring possiblemechanisms, we suggest that increased labor costs, due to low-skilled emigration, in-duced technological innovation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2018. Vol. 78, no 2, p. 623-623
National Category
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-154799OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-154799DiVA, id: diva2:1292312
Available from: 2019-02-27 Created: 2019-02-27 Last updated: 2019-03-06Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, David E.

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  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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