International mobility of people brings great opportunities and large overall benefits. Economically stagnant areas, however, may be deprived of talent through emigration. This may harm dynamism and political and economic change. Between 2010 and 2014, Italy experienced a large wave of emigration and two deep recessions and significant political change. Combining administrative data on Italian expatriates and data on characteristics of municipal councils, mayors and on local elections, we analyse whether emigration affected political change. Economic pull factors from foreign countries, interacted with the pre-existing networks of emigration from Italian municipalities allow us to construct a proxy for emigration that is municipality-specific and, as we show, independent of pre-existing political and economic trends. Using this proxy as an instrument, we find that municipalities with larger emigration rates had slower growth in the share of young, college educated and women among local elected officials. They were also more likely to have their municipal council dismissed and experienced lower political participation and a lower share of votes to anti-status-quo parties.

Does emigration delay political change? Evidence from Italy during the great recession

Anelli, Massimo
;
2017-01-01

Abstract

International mobility of people brings great opportunities and large overall benefits. Economically stagnant areas, however, may be deprived of talent through emigration. This may harm dynamism and political and economic change. Between 2010 and 2014, Italy experienced a large wave of emigration and two deep recessions and significant political change. Combining administrative data on Italian expatriates and data on characteristics of municipal councils, mayors and on local elections, we analyse whether emigration affected political change. Economic pull factors from foreign countries, interacted with the pre-existing networks of emigration from Italian municipalities allow us to construct a proxy for emigration that is municipality-specific and, as we show, independent of pre-existing political and economic trends. Using this proxy as an instrument, we find that municipalities with larger emigration rates had slower growth in the share of young, college educated and women among local elected officials. They were also more likely to have their municipal council dismissed and experienced lower political participation and a lower share of votes to anti-status-quo parties.
2017
Anelli, Massimo; Peri, Giovanni
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4001062
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