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Immigration and the Rise of American Ingenuity
American Economic Review,
We build on the analysis in Akcigit, Grigsby, and Nicholas (2017) by using US patent and census data to examine the relationship between immigration and innovation. We construct a measure of foreign born expertise and show that technology areas where immigrant inventors were prevalent between 1880 and 1940 experienced more patenting and citations between 1940 and 2000. The contribution of immigrant inventors to US innovation was substantial. We also show that immigrant inventors were more productive than native born inventors; however, they received significantly lower levels of labor income. The immigrant inventor wage-gap cannot be explained by differentials in productivity.
Macroeconomic Trade Effects of Vehicle Currencies: Evidence from 19th Century China
IWH Discussion Papers,
We use the Chinese experience between 1867 and 1910 to illustrate how the volatility of vehicle currencies affects trade. Today’s widespread vehicle currency is the dollar. However, the macroeconomic effects of this use of the dollar have rarely been addressed. This is partly due to identification problems caused by its international importance. China had adopted a system, where silver was used almost exclusively for trade, similar to a vehicle currency. While being important for China, the global role of silver was marginal, alleviating said identification problems. We develop a bias corrected structural VAR showing that silver price fluctuations significantly affected trade.
Heterogeneity in Lending and Sectoral Growth: Evidence from German Bank-level Data
International Economics and Economic Policy,
This paper investigates whether heterogeneity across firms and banks matters for the impact of domestic sectoral growth on bank lending. We use several bank-level datasets provided by the Deutsche Bundesbank for the 1996–2002 period. Our results show that firm heterogeneity and bank heterogeneity affect how lending responds to domestic sectoral growth. We document that banks’ total lending to German firms reacts pro-cyclically to domestic sectoral growth, while lending exceeding a threshold of €1.5 million to German and foreign firms does not. Moreover, we document that the response of lending depends on bank characteristics such as the banking groups, the banks’ asset size, and the degree of sectoral specialization. We find that total domestic lending by savings banks and credit cooperatives (including their regional institutions), smaller banks, and banks that are highly specialized in specific sectors responds positively and, in relevant cases, more strongly to domestic sectoral growth.
Exporting Financial Institutions Management via Foreign Direct Investment Mergers and Acquisitions
Journal of International Money and Finance,
We test the relevance of the new trade theory and the traditional theory of comparative advantage for explaining the geographic patterns of international M&As of financial institutions between 1985 and 2000. The data provide statistically significant support for both theories. We also find evidence that the U.S. has idiosyncratic comparative advantages at both exporting and importing financial institutions management.