Research Papers

Italian Migration to the United States: The Role of Pioneers’ Locations [Job Market Paper]

This paper investigates the effect of early migrants’ location patterns on migration and settlement decisions of further migrants from the same communities of origin. Filling a gap in the historical data, I focus on Italian mass migration to the US at the turn of the twentieth century and combine new data sets through a surname matching technique. This allows me to generate new estimates of the yearly migratory flow from each municipality of origin to each county of destination. To address measurement error and endogeneity problems, I exploit variation across time, municipalities of origin, and counties of destination, and consider a battery of controls and fixed effects, and instrument Italian pioneers’ location decisions with non-Italian migrants’ settlement patterns. I find that the effect of income growth on further emigration from the same municipalities to the same counties is amplified by the proportion of pioneers from the municipality in the county. Moreover, the results suggest that pioneers’ location matters mainly for the location of later-wave migrants conditional on migrating, but that they do not affect origin municipalities’ propensity to migrate to the US as a whole.

Do Dictatorships Affect People’s Long Term Beliefs and Preferences? An Empirical Assessment of the Latin American Case [link] [Revise & Resubmit, Journal of Development Economics]

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 [In progress]

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.


 Publications (pre-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]