Annamaria Nifo presents her paper 'Do institutions play a role in skilled migration? The case of Italy' in Parallel session IV(D) of the conference Examining Migration Dynamics. Co-authored by Gaetano Vecchione.
The factors identified by economic theory as determining migrants' decisions appear less relevant to the choices of the highly skilled, a fairly small but significant group which is able to wield a major economic impact on regional economies. This paper is based on the idea that in their migration choices the highly skilled are motivated to look for an area or context able to ensure a higher income and better employment opportunities. At the same time, it should be a favourable socio-economic environment with well-functioning local government institutions. The decisive impact of institutional quality on the level of services, the environment, regional development and the overall quality of life in the destination area has been extensively studied in the literature. Building on such previous studies, by using data from the "Survey on the professional recruitment of graduates" in Italy conducted by the National Statistics Office (ISTAT) in 2007 on a sample of 47,300 individuals who graduated in 2004, we study the impact of provincial institution quality on the probability of resident graduates migrating. Our Heckman Probit estimation indicates that institutions do matter for migration decisions and their importance is comparable to that of per-capita income provincial differences.