NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Gaspare Tortorici

Alfred-Weber-Institut (Department of Economics)
Chair of Labour Economics
University of Heidelberg
Bergeimer Str. 20
Heidelberg 69115
Germany

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Heidelberg

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2020International Migration Responses to Natural Disasters: Evidence from Modern Europe's Deadliest Earthquake
with Yannay Spitzer, Ariell Zimran: w27506
The Messina-Reggio Calabria Earthquake (1908) was the deadliest earthquake and arguably the most devastating natural disaster in modern European history. It occurred when overseas mass emigration from southern Italy was at its peak and international borders were open, making emigration a widespread phenomenon and a readily available option for disaster relief. We use this singular event and its unique and important context to study the effects of natural disasters on international migration. Using commune-level data on damage and annual emigration, we find that, despite massive destruction, there is no evidence that the earthquake had, on average, a large impact on emigration or its composition. There were, however, heterogeneous and offsetting responses to the shock, with a more positiv...
 
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