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Factors driving immigration from Italy to Albania

May 21st, 2020

Watch the video Angela De Santis '23 presented on The Role of ICT Diffusion in Reverse Immigration from Italy to Albania!


The purpose of this research project is to measure the degree to which the current trend of reverse immigration of Italians to Albania is attributable to Albania’s superior information and communication technologies (ICT) diffusion.


Italians are leaving their homeland, ranked as the eighth richest country in the world, and settling in Albania, a country ranked 120th which was besieged by a dictator for 41 years until 1985. Anecdotal evidence suggests that entrepreneurs number highly among the estimated 22,000 Italians who have immigrated to Albania, a ferry ride across the Adriatic. While articles in academic journals analyzing the historic immigration of Albanians to Italy are numerous, the reverse trend has been overlooked by scholars.


The 2019 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report indicates that Albania surpassed Italy in the categories of meritocracy and incentivization. In the NBER paper “Diagnosing the Italian Disease,” Zingales and Pellegrino argue that Italy missed the IT revolution due to a lack of meritocracy. The Albanian-American Development Foundation has engaged me to ascertain the correlation between ICT diffusion in Albania and the reverse immigration of Italian entrepreneurs there.


I have created a survey to be conducted online. Under the mentorship of Professors Alan Blinder and Bruno Pellegrino, I will use STATA statistical software for data manipulation, visualisation, statistics and automated reporting.The potential impact of this research will be to incentivize the Italian government to improve ICT diffusion, and to provide to the Albanian government empirical evidence of the success of its outreach program to attract foreign investment through ICT optimization.


Angela De Santis is advised by Alan Blinder, Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, and Bruno Pellegrino, Ph.D. Candidate, Global Economics and Management at University of California Los Angeles.

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