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

Santiago Pérez

NBER Working Paper No. 26127
Issued in July 2019
NBER Program(s):Program on the Development of the American Economy

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26127

 
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