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Santiago Perez's research on the assimilation of immigrants has been featured by VoxEU


Professor Santiago Pérez's Research on the assimilation of Italian immigrants in Argentina has been featured by VoxEU.

"The US and Argentina were the two most common destinations for Italian migrants in the early 20th century. But their experiences as immigrants in each country differed widely. Italians in Argentina became homeowners and were less likely to be employed as unskilled laborers than they were in the US, where they had uncommonly low family incomes and rates of home ownership. This article seeks to answer two questions in relationship to this migration episode: What was the source of these differences? Why did Italians (in an era of open borders for European immigration) move to both places despite these contrasting experiences? To do so, the author  assembled a new dataset following Italian immigrants from their arrival to ports in Argentina and the US to later censuses of population in both destination countries. These data enable him to compare Italians of similar pre-migration backgrounds but going to different destinations. Using these data, the article finds that differences in pre-migration characteristics are unlikely to explain the differences in outcomes at the destination. In addition, it also provides evidence that path dependence in migrants' destination choices can rationalize why immigrants chose one country over the other in an era of open borders."
Santiago Pérez is an economic historian whose research aims to bring evidence on two main themes: immigration and social mobility. His research uses tools from applied microeconomics and often adopts a comparative perspective.