Mardi 12 mai 2020 (séance annulée) — Séminaire DYNAMICS

  • Yannay Spitzer (Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem);
  • Sandrine Mesplé-Somps (IRD/DIAL) et Björn Nilsson (Univ. Paris-Sud).
  • 16:30-19:00
  • PSE, 48 Bd Jourdan 75014 Paris, Salle R1-09

Yannay Spitzer (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Like an Ink Blot on Paper: Testing the Diffusion Hypothesis of Mass Migration, Italy 1876-1920 (travail conjoint avec Ariell Zimran)

Despite greater incentives for migration due to lower real wages, countries in southern and eastern Europe, such as Italy, were latecomers to the Age of Mass Migration relative to wealthier western countries such as Germany and Britain—a phenomenon called the delayed migration puzzle. We test the diffusion hypothesis, which argues that mass migration from the poorer countries was delayed until it was triggered by exposure to geographically expanding networks of individuals with social links to previous migrants. Focusing on post-unification Italy, we construct a comprehensive annual commune-level panel of emigration over four decades. First, we develop a new set of stylized facts on the Italian emigration that are consistent with the four main predictions of the diffusion hypothesis. Most importantly, we find that Italian mass migration to North America began in a few separate “epicenters” and expanded from there in an orderly pattern of spatial expansion over time. We then show that this pattern was the product of a mechanism in which a commune’s emigration rate was affected by emigration from its neighbors—the fundamental building block of the diffusion hypothesis. These findings contribute to an important revision to the economic history of the Age of Mass Migration and advance the literature on the causes of mass migration more generally.

Sandrine Mesplé-Somps (IRD/DIAL) et Björn Nilsson (Université Paris-Sud)
Role models and migration intentions, an experiment in Kita, Mali

Role models—those individuals which resemble us but have achieved more than us— are thought to impact both our aspirations and the degree to which such aspirations are met. On the other hand, international organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the European Commission, as well as individual recipient countries, have for years attempted to influence the perceptions of migration in Sub-Saharan Africa by information campaigns.  Whatever the objectives of said campaigns, their proliferation suggests that evidence-based studies of what determines the intentions to migrate are urgently needed. In this paper, we study the impact of role models on intentions to migrate, by conducting a randomized control trial in rural areas of Kita district (Kayes region, Mali). Specifically, we show documentaries in rural villages of Mali. The documentaries portray individuals of the same sex, age group and geographical origin as our study population, and were filmed by a Malian anthropologist specialising in visual communication. Our aim is to test if such educational entertainment changes people’s aspiration to migrate by getting people to change their understanding of facts and their vision of their own life.