The Legacy of Historical Emigration: Evidence from Italian Municipalities

49 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2019

See all articles by Erminia Florio

Erminia Florio

University of Rome Tor Vergata, Department of Economics and Finance

Date Written: December 5, 2019

Abstract

I analyze the effect of historical emigration on today's attitudes towards immigration in Italy. To do so, I collect data on Italian emigrants by municipality from the Ellis Island archives in the period 1892-1924. I estimate, then, the causal effect of emigration on a series of outcomes used to measure attitudes towards immigrants through an IV strategy, by exploiting exogenous variation in proximity to train stations active during years 1892-1924 and in the timing of construction of stations to historical emigration. I find that emigration has a negative and signi cant long-run effect on attitudes towards immigration. In particular, a one-standard deviation increase in the share of past emigrants reduces the propensity to have a SPRAR in municipalities by roughly 9%. A higher historical emigration also reduces social expenditures, share of votes for center-left parties and non-pro t organizations, while increasing the share of votes for center-right parties.

Keywords: Italian Emigration; Attitudes towards Immigration; Age of Mass Migration

JEL Classification: J15; N32; N34; Z1

Suggested Citation

Florio, Erminia, The Legacy of Historical Emigration: Evidence from Italian Municipalities (December 5, 2019). CEIS Working Paper No. 478. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3503513 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3503513

Erminia Florio (Contact Author)

University of Rome Tor Vergata, Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Rome
Italy

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