Research Seminar Series on Global Challenges – Mounir Karadja (Uppsala University), 3rd December 2020 at 12:15 p.m. (CET)

Global Challenges Seminar Series

Mounir Karadja (Uppsala University)on “Mass Migration and Technology Change (with David Andersson and Erik Prawitz)jointly organised by the Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano, BAFFI CAREFIN and the Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods (University of Milan) in collaboration with the Dipartimento di Economia, Metodi Quantitativi e Strategie di Impresa (Università Milano Bicocca) and the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale (Politecnico di Milano). The webinar will be held on Thursday, 3rd December 2020 at 12:15 p.m. (CET) via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 849 7148 9339
Passcode: 3FMmt4


This paper studies the effect of emigration on technological change in sending locations after one of the largest migration events in human history, the mass migration from Europe to the United States in the 19th century. To establish causality, we adopt an instrumental variable strategy that combines local growing-season frost shocks with proximity to emigration ports. We document two sets of results. First, using novel data on technological patents, we find that emigration led to an increase in innovative activity in sending municipalities. Moreover, the increase in innovation is coupled with an increased adoption of new technologies in both the agricultural and industrial sectors. Second, in terms of local economic development, we find that emigration led to higher unskilled wages in agriculture, a shift towards employment in the nascent industrial sector, a larger presence of incorporated firms, as well as higher tax revenues.