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Southern (American) Hospitality: Italians in Argentina and the US during the Age of Mass Migration

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  • Santiago Pérez

Abstract

I study the selection and economic outcomes of Italians in Argentina and the US, the two largest destinations during the age of mass migration. Prior cross-sectional work finds that Italians had faster assimilation in Argentina, but it is inconclusive on whether this was due to differences in selection or host-country conditions. I assemble data following Italians from passenger lists to censuses, enabling me to compare migrants with similar pre-migration characteristics. Italians had better economic outcomes in Argentina, and this advantage was unlikely to be due to selection. Migration path dependence can rationalize these differences in an era of open borders.

Suggested Citation

  • Santiago Pérez, 2019. "Southern (American) Hospitality: Italians in Argentina and the US during the Age of Mass Migration," NBER Working Papers 26127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26127
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kris Inwood & Chris Minns & Fraser Summerfield, 2016. "Reverse assimilation? Immigrants in the Canadian labour market during the Great Depression," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 299-321.
    2. Zachary Ward, 2020. "The low return to English fluency during the Age of Mass Migration☆," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 219-242.
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    11. Kosack, Edward & Ward, Zachary, 2014. "Who Crossed the Border? Self-Selection of Mexican Migrants in the Early Twentieth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1015-1044, December.
    12. Federico, Giovanni & Nuvolari, Alessandro & Vasta, Michelangelo, 2019. "The Origins of the Italian Regional Divide: Evidence from Real Wages, 1861–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 63-98, March.
    13. Spitzer, Yannay & Zimran, Ariell, 2018. "Migrant self-selection: Anthropometric evidence from the mass migration of Italians to the United States, 1907–1925," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 226-247.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N36 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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