On the same boat: Italian mass migration to the Unites States, 1892 - 1912

This paper investigates the municipal dimension of Italian mass migration to the United States at the turn of the 20th century (1892 - 1912). The analysis revolves around Ellis Island administrative records and comprises the universe of Italian immigrants entering the United States through New York - about 3.5 million observations. The contribution is threefold: To date, this is the first article that quantitatively disaggregate mass emigration from Italy in its municipal dimension; it sheds light on the concept of ex-ante migration networks, evidencing thir role within migration strategies; it opens a new strand of literature about cyclical migration flows during the age of mass migration. As a whole, the paper further characterise the age of mass migration as the first globalisation era and documents a relevant degree of mobility that contrast with traditional accounts of transoceanic migrations.

Globalisation, agricultural markets, and mass migration (1876 - 1912)

with Rowena Gray (UC, Merced) and Gaia Narciso (TCD)

The consequences of rising import competition for labor markets have been extensively explored in the recent literature. This paper uses a historical case of market opening, and shows how market globalization forces interacted with international migration choices between 1881 and the outbreak of the First World War. We present new data on historical Italian emigration at the province level and document that emigration rates varied substantially by locality, which has been largely unexplained in the literature. Indeed, provinces were differentially exposed to global forces according to their initial-year crop intensities. We explore the determinants of these outflows, focusing on globalization forces alongside more traditional explanatory factors such as migrant stocks and landholding structures. We find that migration was positively related to an index of exogenous global prices, which we interpret as an indication that most Italians were still in a poverty trap and lacked the funds to migrate unless agricultural incomes reached a sufficient level.

You can find this paper here. It's a CREAM working paper.


Massive earthquakes and mass migration: Post-disaster population dynamics

with Yannay Spitzer (Hebrew University, Jerusalem) and Ariell Zimran (Vanderbilt University)