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An Analysis of Interregional Migration in Italy

Migration of people across different areas has been studied as a complex phenomenon involving mainly demographic and economic aspects (Etzo, 2008), and is recognized to be an important mechanism through which the geographical distribution of people changes over time (Greenwood, 1997). Italy has a long history of internal migrations characterized by relative differences between different areas, in particular North and South. Dualism, alongside differences in productivity and local labour market conditions, have boosted migration and interfered in the process of growth and convergence. Classical macroeconomic models consider migration as an equilibrating mechanism that reduces differences among regions with respect to key economic variables (e.g. unemployment, per capita income) (Etzo, 2008). However, despite a history of significant structural change and intense migration flows, the empirical evidence does not show substantial convergence between Italian regions. This is an aspect that many researchers have for long stressed and that remains unsolved (Capasso et al., 2011).
Italy is divided into twenty administrative regions, each charactherized by a strong linguistic and cultural identity. Since the unification of Italy in 1860, there has been an increasing gap between Northern and Southern regions in terms of economic development, as well as the emergence of strong internal migration flows. Despite significant economic differences between these two Italian areas, there has been a marked drop in migration rates between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s, followed by a sharp turnaround in more recent years.
Following the studies of various authors (Basile & Causi, 2005; Piras, 2010; Etzo, 2010; Napolitano & Bonasia, 2010; Biagi et al., 2011), this dissertation investigates the determinants of interregional migration in Italy, and consider how migrants respond to changes in economic factors. In particular, the main interest is to investigate the role of macroeconomic variables in determining the intensity and direction of observed migration flows. In order to do so, we utilise an extended Gravity model (Lee, 1966), where regional levels of GDP and unemployment are considered alongside distance and population size as the main determinants of migration. Gravity models were one of the first formal models of migration and remain the most common theoretical framework in empirical migration analysis concerning migration flows.
The remainder of the dissertation is organized as follows. Chapter 2 introduces the historical background of the Italian migration and gives an insight into the “empirical puzzle” that has characterized migration between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s, and the “Southern Question” which has not been resolved following the unification of Italy. Chapters 3 and 4 present a selected migration literature review, both theoretical and empirical, dealing with the determinants of internal migration flows. Chapter 5 describes the data and methodology employed in the empirical analyses. Chapter 6 presents the empirical results and analysis, and provides an economic interpretation of the key findings. Finally, chapter 7 provides some conclusive remarks.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
4 Chapter 1 – Introduction Migration of people across different areas has been studied as a complex phenomenon involving mainly demographic and economic aspects (Etzo, 2008), and is recognized to be an important mechanism through which the geographical distribution of people changes over time (Greenwood, 1997). Italy has a long history of internal migrations characterized by relative differences between different areas, in particular North and South. Dualism, alongside differences in productivity and local labour market conditions, have boosted migration and interfered in the process of growth and convergence. Classical macroeconomic models consider migration as an equilibrating mechanism that reduces differences among regions with respect to key economic variables (e.g. unemployment, per capita income) (Etzo, 2008). However, despite a history of significant structural change and intense migration flows, the empirical evidence does not show substantial convergence between Italian regions. This is an aspect that many researchers have for long stressed and that remains unsolved (Capasso et al., 2011). Italy is divided into twenty administrative regions, each charactherized by a strong linguistic and cultural identity. Since the unification of Italy in 1860, there has been an increasing gap between Northern and Southern regions in terms of economic development, as well as the emergence of strong internal migration flows. Despite significant economic differences between these two Italian areas, there has been a marked drop in migration rates between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s, followed by a sharp turnaround in more recent years. Following the studies of various authors (Basile & Causi, 2005; Piras, 2010; Etzo, 2010; Napolitano & Bonasia, 2010; Biagi et al., 2011), this dissertation investigates the determinants of interregional migration in Italy, and consider how migrants respond to changes in economic factors. In particular, the main interest is to investigate the role of macroeconomic variables in determining the intensity and direction of observed migration flows. In order to do so, we utilise an extended Gravity model (Lee, 1966), where regional levels of GDP and unemployment are considered alongside distance and population size as the main determinants of

Tesi di Master

Autore: Fabio Rossi Contatta »

Composta da 50 pagine.

 

Questa tesi ha raggiunto 31 click dal 21/04/2015.

 

Consultata integralmente una volta.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.