Discussion paper

DP13311 Civicness drain

Migration may cause not only a brain drain but also a “civicness” drain, leading to a poverty trap. Using migration choices of southern-Italian high-school students classified as Civic if not cheating in a die-roll experiment, we uncover a key role of local civicness (namely, average civicness in the class): a civicness drain is observed only at high and low local civicness. This pattern is predicted by our 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.


Casari, M, A Ichino, M Michaeli, M De Paola, G Marandola and V Scoppa (2018), ‘DP13311 Civicness drain‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 13311. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp13311