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Voting about immigration policy: What does the Swiss experience tell us?

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  • Miguet, Florence

Abstract

This paper draws on Swiss direct democracy to review the Swiss experience with immigration, which has been shaped strongly by regular voting on immigration policies. Relying on two unique post-vote data-sets on how Swiss citizens voted on initiatives directed at containing the proportion of foreigners in the population, we improve on past empirical evidence by by-passing the problem of "hypothetical bias" present in the analysis of conventional survey data. Controlling for the participation bias due to non-mandatory voting, we find evidence that the hypothetical bias hampering pre-vote surveys may be large but that turnout does not have a decisive influence on the outcome of a vote. Confirming political-economy predictions, education matters in the shaping of immigration preferences but non-economic arguments also play an important role.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 24 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 628-641

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:24:y:2008:i:3:p:628-641

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

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  9. Jaya Krishnakumar & Tobias Muller, 2007. "Participation and voting behavior in a direct democracy: a structural model of migration policy in Switzerland," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève 2007.01, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
  10. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Giuseppe Russo, 2011. "Voting over Selective Immigration Policies with Immigration Aversion," CSEF Working Papers, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy 289, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  2. Sobbrio, Francesco & Navarra, Pietro, 2010. "Electoral participation and communicative voting in Europe," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 185-207, June.
  3. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2010. "Immigration, fertility and human capital: A model of economic decline of the West," Working Papers, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics 2010-04, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  4. Otto, Alkis Henri & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2012. "Immigration and election outcomes: Evidence from city districts in Hamburg," HWWI Research Papers 122, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  5. Lena Calahorrano, 2011. "Population Aging and Individual Attitudes toward Immigration: Disentangling Age, Cohort and Time Effects," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 389, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  6. O'Connell, Michael, 2011. "How do high-skilled natives view high-skilled immigrants? A test of trade theory predictions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 230-240, June.
  7. Marfouk, Abdeslam, 2013. "Préjugés et fausses idées sur l’immigration et les immigrés, vecteurs de discrimination en matière d’accès à l’emploi
    [false ideas about immigrants and immigration and discrimination i
    ," MPRA Paper 47899, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Spiros Bougheas & Douglas R. Nelson, 2012. "On the Political Economy of High Skilled Migration and International Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 3880, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Krishnakumar, Jaya & Müller, Tobias, 2012. "The political economy of immigration in a direct democracy: The case of Switzerland," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 174-189.
  10. Naiditch, Claire & Vranceanu, Radu, 2010. "Equilibrium migration with invested remittances: The EECA evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 454-474, December.
  11. Aguiar-Conraria, Luís & Magalhães, Pedro C., 2010. "How quorum rules distort referendum outcomes: Evidence from a pivotal voter model," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 541-557, December.
  12. Aleksynska, Mariya, 2011. "Civic participation of immigrants in Europe: Assimilation, origin, and destination country effects," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 566-585, September.

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