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LUNCH SEMINAR: Luca De Benedictis - University of Macerata
Friday 26 May 2023, 01:00am - 02:00pm

Discrimination, Political Orientation, and the Decision to Migrate: University Professors in Fascist Italy


We study the decision to emigrate of academics of Jewish origin dismissed from their positions by the Mussolini government in 1938, when new Racial Laws were introduced, opening a new phase of increased persecution of Jews by restricting their rights and livelihoods. We use rich individual-level data on the universe of Jewish professors, revealing their family situation, their domestic and international academic recognition as well as their political orientation. Jewish academics with children, with Jewish spouses, those whose parents are deceased, young, and international recognized scholars are more likely to emigrate. Jewish academics who are either openly fascist or anti-fascist are less likely to emigrate. While the former may feel "safe enough" given their loyalty to the regime, the latter may want to oppose and fight the regime, as evidenced by several of them joining the resistance.

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