The determinants of the recent interregional migration flows in Italy: A panel data analysis
The present study investigates the determinants of interregional migration flows in Italy in the light of the upsurge occurred in 1996, after two decades of decreasing internal migration rates. We apply the fixed effect vector decomposition estimator (FEVD) on a gravity model using bilateral migration flows for the period 1996-2005 and show that it improves the estimates with respect to the traditional panel data estimators. We find that omitting distance and in presence of rarely time invariant covariates (e.g., population and income) the standard panel data models significantly bias the estimates. The overall economic level and the probability to find a job (proxied by per capita GDP and unemployment rate) appear to be the key variables whose changes are able to push flows of migrants away from their regions and to direct them to “better off” destinations. We find that migrants leaving the regions in the Centre-North respond differently to the push and pull forces with respect to southern migrants. We then estimate a dynamic model and find evidence for the presence of social networks which in our model take place between each pair of regions.
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