Forced migration and human capital: evidence from post-WWII population transfers

Sascha O. Becker, Irena Grosfeld, Pauline Grosjean, Nico Voigtländer, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1430-1463
Number of pages34
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Volume110
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

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