The 'going-north strategy' for social mobility. Family resources and internal migration among young Italian students

Roberto Impicciatore, Università degli Studi di Milano

Migration process from the southern to the northern regions still is a crucial aspect of the Italian society. Territorial mobility may provide opportunities to use education as a means of access for the more prestigious jobs, given the relevant differences in the labour market and returns on educational investments in different areas. However, student migration has additional costs and the family background may play a key role in this sense. The aim of this paper is threefold. Firstly, looking at the effect of parental resources on the decision to move to northern regions, we want to test if the territorial mobility may be seen as part of a strategy of social mobility among children of lower classes. Secondly, we evaluate the relevance of the recent changes in the tertiary system in Italy (decentralization, increased autonomy, 3+2 reform) in the propensity to move in general and in the scheme of relation between territorial mobility and family resources. Third, we check whether the recent economic crisis has strengthened the relevance of family resources relating the South-North student mobility. The research strategy consists in the application of logistic regression models to the ISTAT surveys on educational and professional paths of upper secondary school graduates (years 1998-2011). Our main results highlight an increased mobility for tertiary education between southern and northern regions over time and an increasing effect of parental resources. Thus, on the one hand, mobility for study is an additional tool for an upward social mobility only among higher, i.e. those with a higher trust in education and with more economic resources, on the other hand, changes in the university system emphasized the relevance of family resources.

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Presented in Session 113: Housing, education and internal migration