Department of Economics

Lund University School of Economics and Management

Departmental Seminar: Giovanni Mastrobuoni


Giovanni Mastrobuoni, Collegio Carlo Alberto

Giovanni Mastrobuoni (Collegio Carlo Alberto)

Title: “Migrants at Sea: Unintended Consequences of Search and Rescue Operations” (with Claudio Deiana, Vikram Maheshri). 


Abstract: The Central Mediterranean Sea is the world’s most dangerous crossing for irregular migrants. In response to mounting deaths, European nations intensified search and rescue operations in 2013.

We develop a model of irregular migration to identify the effects of these operations. Leveraging exogenous variation from rapidly varying crossing conditions, we find that smugglers responded by sending boats in adverse weather and shifting from seaworthy boats to flimsy rafts.

In doing so, these operations induced more crossings in dangerous conditions, ultimately offsetting their intended safety benefits. A more successful policy should restrict the supply of rafts, expanding legal alternatives migration.

7 June 2022


Holger Crafoords Ekonomicentrum EC3
Tycho Brahes väg 1
223 63 Lund


Gunes Gokmen