Assistant Professor Konrad Burchardi has had his paper ”Migrants, Ancestors, and Investments” (with Thomas Chaney, Sciences Po, Paris and Tarek Hassan, Boston University), accepted for publication by The Review of Economic Studies - one of the world's top 5 publications in economics.

Following the good news, we wanted to learn more about Konrad's research paper.

Can you briefly summarize what your paper is about?

Sure. Our work starts from the observation that the world has become both economically and socially ever more connected over the last century. We were interested in understanding to which extent the social integration of the world has caused its economic integration. Much of the increased international social connectedness is in fact triggered by large scale migrations. So we study one of the largest episodes of international migrations, the migrations to the US over the last 150 years, and find that the social connections that remained with the countries of origin of these migrants were surprisingly important, and had positive long-term effects on economic linkages between the US and the world.

What can the general public learn from your paper?

You know, the debates about the costs and benefits of immigration often focus on the short-term, local labor market effects in the host country, or the burden on public services. That is clearly a narrow perspective, independent of what the actual answer to these questions is. Our work contributes to paint a broader picture. We uncover sizeable economic benefits, which unfold over a longer time horizon.

Are you continuing research in the same area or will you move on to completely different projects?

This paper is part of a broader research agenda with my coauthors on the economic effects of social structure. In addition, one contribution of our paper is the novel statistical methodology, and we are working on using that innovation to answer a number of other questions.