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Migration And Human Capital In Italian Agricultural Labour Market: A Case Study Analysis


  • Ghelfi, Rino
  • Rivaroli, Sergio


During the last years Italy, a country characterized by a long history of emigration, has seen a quickly growth of the phenomenon of immigration. Our Nation seems to be a “docking point” for new and substantial flow of immigrants mainly from Eastern Europe looking for new work opportunities. The profile of these people is usually characterized by high level of education as well as flexibility and adaptability. For the national economy in general, and for the agricultural sector in particular, this new migration flows represent an effective answer to the aversion for the agricultural job expressed by many potential autochthon workers. Which are the characteristics of extra-community agricultural labour? Which are the characteristics of migration flows linked to the agricultural labour in three provinces of one of the main agricultural regions in Italy? Based on National Institute of Welfare information’s (INPS), the research underlines the diversification of this phenomenon among Italian regions as well as its dynamism. In Italy, during the last five years, the proportions of foreign agricultural workers increased up to 50%, and peaked in four Italian regions: Friuli Venezia Giulia, Campania, Piemonte and Emilia-Romagna. In Emilia-Romagna, in particular, immigrants represent almost a quarter of total agricultural workers and most of them aged less than forty years. The analysis of information about labour market in the agricultural sector in some Emilia-Romagna provinces shows that immigrants are concentrated in few farms. Farmer prefers to engage homogeneous ethnic groups to assure cultural affinity among the employees. In the local agricultural labour market the immigrants coming from Eastern Europe, in particular from Poland and Romania, are aged between 22 and 36 years, are unemployed in their country, they have a driving license and a good knowledge of Italian and English language.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghelfi, Rino & Rivaroli, Sergio, 2009. "Migration And Human Capital In Italian Agricultural Labour Market: A Case Study Analysis," 113th Seminar, December 9-11, 2009, Belgrade, Serbia 57508, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ea113a:57508

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    Agricultural Labour Markets; Immigrant Workers; Human Capital; Skills; Agribusiness; Labor and Human Capital; J43; J61; J24;

    JEL classification:

    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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