Among the various statistical studies on migration before the Great War, Italy has received little attention, with a few notable exceptions. The standard economic approach explains emigration to any given country as driven by relative wages, relative employment rates, and the stock of previous emigrants to that country, the “network”. This paper improves on earlier contributions by covering all Italian migration outflows between 1876 and 1915 to the most significant destination countries, taking all countries separately and simultaneously and adopting the most consistent and up-to-date econometric approaches. As it turns out, the standard model is only partially confirmed when accounting for heterogeneity of destinations, whereas other relevant hypotheses are not accepted.
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