November 2018

IZA DP No. 11955: Civicness Drain

Marco Casari, Andrea Ichino, Moti Michaeli, Maria De Paola, Ginevra Marandola, Vincenzo Scoppa

Migration may cause not only a brain drain but also a civicness drain, leading to an uncivicness trap. We study this possibility using college choices of southern-Italian students classified as Civic if not cheating in a die-roll experiment. Local civicness is the fraction of Civic in their high-school class. A civicness drain is observed at high and low local civicness. We explain this finding in a model in which Civic and Uncivic types balance hope vs. fear of migration outcomes, taking into account economic gains, risk preferences, and their beliefs about being considered Civic in the place of destination.