This thesis exploits quasi-natural experiments, both historical and contemporary, to provide causal evidence on broad questions at the frontier of the development and political economy literature. In particular, it delves into the long-run effects of emigration, the formation of identities and political preferences, and the long-term impacts of school segregation. The first chapter examines the consequences of emigration for human capital accumulation at origin, taking as a laboratory the Galician diaspora formed at the beginning of the XXth century. Leveraging data spanning over one hundred years, it provides the first evidence of a positive impact of emigration in the communities of origin across several generations. The second chapter investigates whether the emotional trigger of sports can influence identity and political preferences. Focusing on Catalonia and Football Club Barcelona (FCB) as an ideal setting, I show empirically that FCB performance is directly linked with feelings of Catalan identity and support for secession. Furthermore, I explore the mechanisms behind this connection and its potential implications for electoral results. The third chapter takes advantage of a major reform under the Pinochet’s dictatorship, which introduced a system of school vouchers, to analyze the long-term effects of school segregation on subjective well-being. The findings show that the reform had unintended consequences, hurting children from poorer family backgrounds who today, more than 30 years later, have significantly lower levels of life satisfaction.