Working Papers

Do Dictatorships Affect People’s Long Term Beliefs and Preferences? An Empirical Assessment of the Latin American Case [link] [Submitted]

Does the political regime experienced during youth have long lasting effects on political beliefs and preferences? I exploit time and country variation in political regimes in Latin America using data from the 1995 to 2010 Latinobarometer and find that exposure to non-democratic regimes during youth reduces subsequent preference for democracy, satisfaction with democracy and confidence in institutions. These results suggest exposure to dictatorships during formative years permanently eroded democratic values. Exposure to non-democratic regimes also affects self-location in an ideology scale, reducing identification with the Right and increasing identification with the Left; which suggests dictatorships also shaped the political orientation of voters.


Italian Migration to the United States: The Role of Migrant Networks

Exploiting new ship manifest micro data on Italian migrants to the US at the turn of the nineteenth century, this paper exploits cross-sectional variation in the size of migrant stocks across municipalities of origin to investigate the effect of network size on the characteristics of later migrant waves from the same places of origin. Instrumental variable estimations show that increased network size by municipality of origin is associated with a reduction in literacy for later migrants. Larger network size is also associated with lower immigrant age, and a higher proportion of women and agricultural workers in migratory flows. Results are consistent with networks reducing migration costs and increasing emigration rates for lower quality (prospective) migrants.


Italian Migration to the United States: The Role of Pioneers’ Locations

Exploiting new data sets on Italian mass migration to the United States at the turn of the century, and building on machine learning surname matching techniques, this paper investigates the effect of first-wave Italian migrants’ location decisions on the size and location of later-wave migrants, by municipality of origin. Endogeneity is addressed by instrumenting location decisions of first-wave migrants with settlement patterns of non-Italian migrants. Exploiting cross-county and cross-municipality variation, results show that increased proportion of first-wave migrants from given municipalities in counties with greater income leads to additional increases in later-wave migration rates from the same municipalities to given counties, but that the mean income of the average first-wave migrant has little to no effect on later-wave emigration rates to the United States as a whole. Results are then consistent with economic conditions at the county level affecting location decisions of later-wave migrants (conditional on migrating) rather than affecting emigration rates to the US in general.


Work in progress

  • The effect of migration on the sending country: The case of Italy and the US


 Publications (before PhD)

  • Wage inequality on the rise: The role of workers’ characteristics. Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 22, n. 2, 2013 (with G. Alves & M. Yapor). [link]
  • Income mobility and poverty traps: new evidence for Southern Cone countries. Estudios Economicos, vol. 28, issue 1, 2013 (with R. Arim, A. Dean, M. Leites & G. Salas). [link]