Forced Migration and Human Capital: Evidence from Post-WWII Population Transfers
AbstractWe study the long-run effects of forced migration on investment in education. After World War II, millions of Poles were forcibly uprooted from the Kresy territories of eastern Poland and resettled ( primarily) in the newly acquired Western Territories, from which the Germans were expelled. We combine historical censuses with newly collected survey data to show that, while there were no pre-WWII differences in educational attainment, Poles with a family history of forced migration are significantly more educated today than other Poles. These results are driven by a shift in preferences away from material possessions toward investment in human capital.
CitationBecker, Sascha O., Irena Grosfeld, Pauline Grosjean, Nico Voigtländer, and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya. 2020. "Forced Migration and Human Capital: Evidence from Post-WWII Population Transfers." American Economic Review, 110 (5): 1430-63. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20181518
- I25 Education and Economic Development
- I26 Returns to Education
- J24 Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- N34 Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: Europe: 1913-
- R23 Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics