Creating Abundance: Immigrants and the Birth of American Entrepreneurship

Proposal Description:

In this project we want to assess the contribution of immigrants for the process of American economic growth and technological progress since the mid 19th century. While there is an extensive literature on the short-run consequences of immigration, the long-run effects of immigration have so far received less attention. This project aims to complement the literature by analyzing the long-run impacts of one the biggest migration episodes in modern time – the era of Mass Migration (1850-1913). We focus on the role of businesses created by immigrants for the transmission of knowledge and aggregate economic growth. In particular, we aim to analyze whether immigrants from the European continent brought novel ideas and technologies to the US and then used such ideas to start their own companies. The answer to this question is not only of historical interests but also important to evaluate modern immigration policies.

Requisite Skills and Qualifications:

We are looking for students with an interest in empirical analysis. In particular, prior exposure to empirical work using R, STATA or Matlab is essential. Some background in data digitization and/or GIS software would be useful in the construction of the dataset, but is not absolute necessary.

  • Michael Mei '18
  • David Rubio '19
  • Andrew Sparkman '19
  • William Smith '19