The Culture Transplant
How Migrants Make the Economies They Move To a Lot Like the Ones They Left
Published by: Stanford University Press
192 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm
- ISBN: 9781503632943
- Published: October 2022
A provocative new analysis of immigration's long-term effects on a nation's economy and culture
Over the last two decades, as economists have uncovered the best predictors of national prosperity around the world, one of their repeated findings has been that cultural factors are robust predictors of economic performance. In The Culture Transplant, Garett Jones documents the cultural foundations of cross-country income differences, and draws on recent research showing that immigrants bring economically important cultural attitudes that persist for decades, even centuries, in their new national homes. And since a nation's citizens shape a nation's culture, its government, and its behavioral norms, that means migration will shape the rules of the game for a nation's economy. So it is, Jones demonstrates, that the cultural traits migrants bring to their new homes have enduring effects upon a nation's economic potential and proximate causes of both poverty and future prosperity.
Built upon mainstream, well-reviewed academic research that hasn't pierced the public consciousness, The Culture Transplant will appeal to a broad range of readers at the intersection of cultural anthropology and economics. The book offers a compelling refutation of an unspoken consensus that a nation's economic and political institutions are overwhelmingly exogenous to migration, that migration policy can be discussed without considering whether migration will, over a few generations, have substantial effects on the economic and political institutions of a nation. Dispelling myths of causation and assimilation, Jones reveals it's not just the cultural traits or ancestral success, but also deep roots of institutional quality and good governance that fosters prosperity from migrants.