Department of Economics
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|July 2020||International Migration Responses to Natural Disasters: Evidence from Modern Europe's Deadliest Earthquake|
with , : 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...