Moving to Segregation: Evidence from 8 Italian Cities

51 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012

See all articles by Tito Boeri

Tito Boeri

Bocconi University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Marta de Philippis

Bank of Italy

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Michele Pellizzari

University of Geneva - GSEM; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: October 6, 2012

Abstract

We use a new dataset and a novel identification strategy to analyze the effects of residential segregation on the employment of migrants in 8 Italian cities. Our data, which are representative of the population of both legal and illegal migrants, allow us to measure segregation at the very local level (the block) and include measures of house prices, commuting costs and migrants' linguistic ability. We find evidence that migrants who reside in areas with a high concentration of non-Italians are less likely to be employed compared to similar migrants who reside in less segregated areas. In our preferred specification, a 10 percentage points increase in residential segregation reduces the probability of being employed by 7 percentage points or about 8% over the average. Additionally, we also show that this effect emerges only above a critical threshold of 15-20% of migrants over the total local population, below which there is no statistically detectable effect. The negative externality associated with residential segregation arises only for the employment prospects of immigrants, whether legal or illegal. We do not find evidence of either spatial mismatch or skill bias as potential explanations of this effect. Statistical discrimination by native employers is the remaining suspect.

Keywords: migration, residential segregation, hiring networks

JEL Classification: J15, J61, R23

Suggested Citation

Boeri, Tito and de Philippis, Marta and Patacchini, Eleonora and Pellizzari, Michele, Moving to Segregation: Evidence from 8 Italian Cities (October 6, 2012). IZA Discussion Paper No. 6834, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2157976

Tito Boeri (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Marta De Philippis

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Michele Pellizzari

University of Geneva - GSEM ( email )

102 Bd Carl-Vogt
Genève, CH - 1205
Switzerland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
49
Abstract Views
534
PlumX Metrics