Advertisement

Brain Drain and Brain Gain in Italy and Ireland in the Age of Mass Migration

  • Matteo GomelliniEmail author
  • Cormac Ó Gráda
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)

Abstract

Emigrants from Italy and Ireland contributed disproportionately to the age of mass migration. That their departure improved the living standards of those they left behind is hardly in doubt. Nevertheless, a voluminous literature on the selectivity of migrant flows—from both sending and receiving country perspectives—has given rise to claims that migration generates both “brain drains” and “brain gains.” On the one hand, positive or negative selection among emigrants may affect the level of human capital in sending countries. On the other hand, the prospect of emigration and return migration may both spur investment in schooling in source countries. This essay describes the history of emigration from Italy and Ireland during the age of mass migration from these perspectives.

Keywords

Migration Brain drain Brain gain Human capital Italy Ireland 

JEL

F22 J61 F22 J61 N33 O15 

References

  1. Abramitzky, Ran, Leah. P. Boustan, and Katherine. Eriksson. “Europe’s tired, poor, huddled masses: Self-selection and economic outcomes in the age of mass Migration.” American Economic Review 102, no. 5 (2012): 1832–1856.Google Scholar
  2. Adsera, Adsera, and Mariola Pytliková. “The role of language in shaping international migration.” Economic Journal 125, no. 586 (2015): F49–F81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. A’Hearn, Brian, and Giovanni Vecchi. “Height.” In Measuring wellbeing: A history of Italian living standards, edited by Giovanni Vecchi, 43–87. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Annuario Statistico delle Città italiane. Firenze: Alfani e Venturi, 1906–1914. Available at http://lipari.istat.it/digibib/AnnuarioStatisticoCittaItaliane/.
  5. Baffigi, Alberto. “National accounts, 1861–2011.” In The Oxford handbook of the Italian economy since unification, edited by G. Toniolo, 157–186. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.Google Scholar
  6. Bandiera, Oriana, Imram Rasul, and Martina Viarengo. “The making of modern America: Migratory flows in the age of mass migration.” Journal of Development Economics 102 (2013): 23–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Batista, Catia, Aitor, Lacuesta, and Pedro C. Vicente. “Testing the ‘Brain Gain’ hypothesis: Micro evidence from Cape Verde.” Journal of Development Economics 97, no. 1 (2011): 32–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Becker, Sascha O., Andrea Ichino, and Giovanni Peri. “How large is the ‘brain drain’ from Italy?” Giornale degli economisti e annali di economia 63, no. 1 (2004): 1–32.Google Scholar
  9. Becker, Sascha O., and Ludger Woessmann. “Was Weber wrong? A human capital theory of protestant economic history.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 124, no. 2 (2009): 531–596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Beine, Michel, Frédéric Docquier, and Cecily Oden-Defoort. “A panel data analysis of the brain gain.” World Development 39, no. 4 (2011): 523–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Belot, Michèle, and Timothy J. Hatton. “Immigrant selection in the OECD.” Scandinavian Journal of Economics 114, no. 4 (2012): 1105–1128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bertola, G., and P. Sestito. “Human capital.” In The Oxford handbook of the Italian economy since unification, edited by G. Toniolo, 249–270. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.Google Scholar
  13. Bevilacqua, Piero, Andreina de Clementi, and Emilio Franzina, eds. Storia dell’emigrazione italiana, 1, Partenze, and 2, Arrivi, Rome: Donzelli, 2002.Google Scholar
  14. Biondo, Alessio, Simona Monteleone, Giorgio Skonieczny, and Benedetto Torrisi. “Propensity to return: Theory and evidence of Italian brain drain.” Economic Letters 115 (2012): 359–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bleakley, Hoyt, and Aimee Chin, “Age at arrival, English proficiency, and social assimilation among US immigrants.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 2, no. 1 (2010): 165–192.Google Scholar
  16. Borjas, George J., and Bernt Bratsberg. “Who leaves? The outmigration of the foreign-born.” Review of Economics and Statistics 78, no. 1 (1996): 165–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cappelli, Gabriele, and Michelangelo Vasta. “Can school centralization foster human capital accumulation? A quasi‐experiment from early twentieth‐century Italy.” The Economic History Review, 2019.Google Scholar
  18. Cerase, Francesco. “Sulla tipologia di emigranti ritornati: il ritorno di investimento” Studi Emigrazioni 6, no. 10 (1967): 327–349.Google Scholar
  19. Chiswick, Barry R., and Paul W. Miller. “Language skills and earnings among legalized aliens.” Journal of Population Economics 12, no. 1 (1999): 63–91.Google Scholar
  20. Choate, Mark I. Emigrant nation: The making of Italy Abroad. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008.Google Scholar
  21. Ciccarelli, Carlo, and De Fraja, Gianni. “The demand for tobacco in post-unification Italy.” Cliometrica 8, no. 2 (2014): 145–171.Google Scholar
  22. Cinel, Dino. The national integration of Italian return migration, 1870–1929. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.Google Scholar
  23. Cipolla, Carlo M. Literacy and Development in the West. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1969.Google Scholar
  24. Coletti, Francesco. Dell’emigrazione italiana, in Cinquanta anni di storia italiana: 1860–1910. Pubblicazione fatta sotto gli auspicii del governo per cura della R. Accademia dei Lincei, Vol. 3. Milan, Hoepli, 1911.Google Scholar
  25. Collins, William J., and Ariell Zimran. “The economic assimilation of Irish Famine migrants to the United States.” NBER Working Paper No. 25, 287, 2018.Google Scholar
  26. Commander, Simon, Mari Kangasniemi, and L. Alan Winters. “The brain drain: Curse or boon? A survey of the literature.” In Challenges to globalization: Analyzing the economics, edited by R. E. Baldwin and L. A. Winters, 235–272. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  27. Commissariato generale dell’emigrazione. Annuario statistico della emigrazione italiana dal 1876 al 1925. Rome: Edizione del Commissariato generale dell’emigrazione, 1926.Google Scholar
  28. Commission on Emigration and Other Population Problems. Report. Dublin: Government Publications Office, 1956.Google Scholar
  29. Connor, Dylan S. “The cream of the crop? Geography, networks, and Irish migrant selection in the age of mass migration.” Journal of Economic History 79, no. 1 (2019): 139–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Corti, Paola, and Matteo Sanfilippo. (Eds.). “Migrazioni.” In Storia di’Italia, Annali 24. Torino: Enaudi Editore, 2009.Google Scholar
  31. Del Boca, Daniela, and Alessandra Venturini. “Italian migration.” Institute for the Study of Labor IZA Discussion Papers No. 938, 2003.Google Scholar
  32. Delaney, Enda. Irish emigration since 1921. Dundalk: Dundalgan Press, 2002.Google Scholar
  33. Dickson, David. Old world Colony: Cork and South Munster 1630–1830. Cork: Cork University Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  34. Docquier, Frédéric, and Hillel Rapoport. “Ethnic discrimination and the migration of skilled labor.” Journal of Development Economics 70, no. 1 (2003): 159–172.Google Scholar
  35. ———. “On the robustness of brain gain estimates.” Annales d’Economie et de Statistiques 97/98 (2010): 143–165.Google Scholar
  36. Dustmann, Christian, Itzik Fadlon, and Yoram Weiss. “Return migration, human capital accumulation and the brain drain.” Journal of Development Economics 95, no. 1 (2011): 58–67.Google Scholar
  37. Dustmann, Christian, and Yoram Weiss. 2007. “Return migration: Theory and empirical evidence from UK.” British Journal of Industrial Relations 45, no.2 (2007): 236–256.Google Scholar
  38. Egger, Hartmut, and Gabriel Felbermayr. “Endogenous skill formation and the source country effects of emigration from developing countries.” Journal of Economics and Statistics, 229, no. 6 (2009): 706–729.Google Scholar
  39. Einaudi, Luca. Le politiche dell’immigrazione in Italia dall’Unità a oggi. Rome: Laterza, 2007.Google Scholar
  40. Faini, Riccardo. “The Brain Drain: An Unmitigated Blessing?” Discussion Paper 2003/064. Helsinki: UNU/WIDER, 2003.Google Scholar
  41. Fitzgerald, Garret. “Irish-speaking in the pre-famine period: A study based on the 1911 census data for people born before 1851 and still alive in 1911.” Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 103C no. 5 (2003): 191–283.Google Scholar
  42. Fitzpatrick, David. Irish emigration 1801–1921. Dundalk: Dundalgan Press, 1984.Google Scholar
  43. Fitzpatrick, David. “‘A share of the honeycomb’: Education, emigration and Irishwomen.” Continuity and Change 1, no. 2 (1986): 217–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Fitzpatrick, David. The Americanization of Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.Google Scholar
  45. Giffoni, Francesco, and Matteo Gomellini. “Brain gain in the age of mass migration.” Banco d’Italia Quaderni di Storia Economica (Economic History Working Papers), Number 34, 2015.Google Scholar
  46. Giunta parlamentare d’inchiesta sulle condizioni dei contadini nelle Province meridionali e nella Sicilia. Inchiesta parlamentare sulle condizioni dei contadini nelle Province meridionali e nella Sicilia, Vol. 2, Abruzzi e Molise, Tomo 1, Relazione del delegato tecnico dottor Cesare Jarach. Rome: Berterio, 1909.Google Scholar
  47. Gomellini, Matteo, and Cormac Ó Gráda. “Migrations.” In The Oxford handbook of the Italian economy since unification, edited by G. Toniolo, 271–302. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.Google Scholar
  48. Gould, John D. “European inter-continental emigration. The road home: Return migration from the U.S.A.” Journal of European Economic History 9, no. 1 (1980): 41–112.Google Scholar
  49. Hirota, Hidetaka. Expelling the poor: Atlantic seaboard states and the nineteenth Century origins of American immigration policy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Hunt, Jennifer. “The impact of immigration on the educational attainment of natives.” NBER Working Paper No. 18,047, 2012.Google Scholar
  51. Jain, Tarun. “Common tongue: The impact of language on educational outcomes.” Journal of Economic History 77, no. 2 (2017): 477–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Jarach, Cesare. Inchiesta parlamentare sulle condizioni dei contadini nelle Province meridionali e nella Sicilia, Vol. 2, Abruzzi e Molise, Tomo 1, Relazione del delegato tecnico Dottor Cesare Jarach. Rome: Berterio, 1909.Google Scholar
  53. Lalonde, Robert, and Robert Topel. “Economic impact of international migration and the economic performance of migrants.” In Handbook of population and family economics, edited by M. R. Rosenzweig and O. Stark, 799–850. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 1997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lynn, Richard. The Irish brain drain. Dublin: ESRI, 1968.Google Scholar
  55. Matteucci, Carlo. Raccolta di scritti varii intorno all’istruzione pubblica. Prato: Tipografia Alberghetti, 1867.Google Scholar
  56. Mayr, Karin, and Giovanni Peri. “Return migration as a channel of brain gain.” NBER Working Paper No. 14039, 2008.Google Scholar
  57. Mitch, David F. The rise of popular literacy in Victorian England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Monteleone, Simona, and Benedetto Torrisi. “A micro data analysis of Italy’s brain drain.” MPRA Paper No. 20,995, 2010.Google Scholar
  59. Mortara, Giorgio. “Numeri indici dello stato e del progresso economico delle regioni italiane.” Giornale degli economisti e rivista di statistica 47, no. 7 (1913): 17–29.Google Scholar
  60. Mountford, Andrew. “Can a brain drain be good for growth in the source economy?” Journal of Development Economics 53, no 2 (1997): 287–303.Google Scholar
  61. Ó Gráda, Cormac. Ireland: A new economic history 1780–1939. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.Google Scholar
  62. Ó Gráda, Cormac. “School attendance and literacy before the famine: A simple baronial analysis.” In Irish primary education in the early nineteenth century, edited by Garret FitzGerald. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 2013.Google Scholar
  63. Ó Gráda, Cormac. “The next world and the New World: Relief, migration, and the Great Irish Famine.” Journal of Economic History 79, no. 2 (2019): 319–355.Google Scholar
  64. Ó Gráda, Cormac, and Kevin H. O’Rourke. “Mass migration as disaster relief: Lessons from the Great Irish Famine.” European Review of Economic History 1, no. 1 (1997): 1–25.Google Scholar
  65. Ó Gráda, Cormac, and Brendan M. Walsh. “Irish emigration: patterns, causes and effects.” In Emigration and its Impact on the Sending Country, edited by Beth Asch, 97–152. Santa Monica CA: Rand Corporation, 1994.Google Scholar
  66. Oldham, Charles H. “The incidence of emigration on town and country life in Ireland.” Journal of the Social and Statistical Inquiry Society of Ireland 13 (1914): 207–218.Google Scholar
  67. Oxley, Deborah. “Female convicts.” In Convict workers: Reinterpreting Australia’s past, edited by Stephen Nicholas, 85–97. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  68. Richards, Eric. “An Australian map of British and Irish literacy in 1841.” Population Studies 53, no. 3 (1999): 345–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Rosoli, Gianfausto (Ed.). Un secolo di emigrazione italiana: 1876–1976. Roma: Centro Studi Emigrazione, 1978.Google Scholar
  70. Rosoli, Gianfausto, and Maria Rosaria Ostuni. “Saggio di bibliografia statistica dell’emigrazione italiana.” In Un secolo di emigrazione italiana: 1876–1976, edited by Gianfausto Rosoli, 273–341. Roma: Centro Studi Emigrazione, 1978.Google Scholar
  71. Schrier, Arnold. Ireland and the American emigration 1850–1900. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1958.Google Scholar
  72. Schiff, Maurice. “Brain gain: Claims about its size and impact on welfare and growth are greatly exaggerated.” In International migration, remittances and the brain drain, edited by Maurice Schiff and Caglar Ozden, Chapter 6. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.Google Scholar
  73. Sexton, John J., Brendan M. Walsh, Damien F. Hannan, and Dorren McMahon. The economic and social implications of emigration. Dublin: NESC, 1991.Google Scholar
  74. Shrestha, Slesh A. “No man left behind: Effects of emigration prospects on educational and labour outcomes of non-migrants.” Economic Journal 127, no. 600 (2017): 495–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Sori, Ercole. L’emigrazione italiana dall’unita all seconda guerra mondiale. Bologna: Il Mulino, 1979.Google Scholar
  76. Spitzer, Yannay, and Ariell Zimran. “Migrant self-selection: Anthropometric evidence from the mass migration of Italians to the United States.” Journal of Development Economics 134 (2018): 226–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Stark, Oded, Christian Helmenstein, and Alexia Prskawetz. “A brain gain with a brain drain.” Economics Letters 55, no 2 (1997): 227–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. ———. “Human capital depletion, human capital formation, and migration: A blessing or a ‘curse?” Economics Letters 60, no. 3 (1998): 363–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. ‘t Hart, Marjolein. “Irish return migration in the nineteenth century.” Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 76, no. 3 (1985): 223–231.Google Scholar
  80. Timmer, Ashley S., and Jeffreu G. Williamson. “Immigration policy prior to the 1930s: Labor markets, policy interactions, and globalization backlash.” Population and Development Review 24, no. 4 (1998): 737–771.Google Scholar
  81. Villani, S. “Public finance and consumption taxes (1862–1913).” MPRA Paper No. 36856, 2011.Google Scholar
  82. Wall, Maureen. “The decline of the Irish language.” In A view of the Irish language, edited by Brian O Cuiv, 81–90. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1968.Google Scholar
  83. Williamson, Jeffrey G. “Inequality and schooling responses to globalization forces: Lessons from history.” Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, 225–248, 2006.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Banca d’ItaliaRomeItaly
  2. 2.University College DublinDublinIreland

Personalised recommendations