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Voice of the Diaspora: An Analysis of Migrant Voting Behaviour

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  • Doyle, Orla
  • Fidrmuc, Jan

Abstract

This Paper utilizes a unique dataset on votes cast by Czech and Polish migrants in their recent national elections to investigate the impact of institutional, political and economic characteristics on migrants’ voting behaviour. The political preferences of migrants are strikingly different from those of their domestic counterparts. In addition, there are also important differences among migrants living in different countries. This Paper examines three alternative hypotheses to explain migrant voting behaviour: adaptive learning; economic self-selection and political self-selection. The results of the analysis suggest that migrant voting behaviour is affected by the institutional environment of the host countries, in particular the tradition of democracy and the extent of economic freedom. In contrast, there is little evidence that differences in migrants’ political attitudes are caused by self-selection based either on economic motives or political attitudes prior to migrating. These results are interpreted as indicating that migrants’ political preferences change in the wake of migration as they adapt to the norms and values prevailing in their surroundings.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4619.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4619

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Keywords: migration; political resocialization; voting; Z13;

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  1. Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1994. " The VP-Function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 213-45, June.
  2. Lofstrom, Magnus, 1999. "Labor Market Assimilation and the Self-Employment Decision of Immigrant Entrepreneurs," IZA Discussion Papers 54, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 1999. "Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Immigration and Self-Selection," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade and the Labor Market, pages 29-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joop Hartog & Rainer Winkelmann, 2003. "Comparing migrants to non-migrants: The case of Dutch migration to New Zealand," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 683-705, November.
  6. Micael Castanheira, 2003. "Why Vote For Losers?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1207-1238, 09.
  7. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kevin D. Hoover & Stephen J. Perez, 1999. "Data mining reconsidered: encompassing and the general-to-specific approach to specification search," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(2), pages 167-191.
  9. Fidrmuc, J., 1998. "Political Support for Reforms: Economics of Voting in Transition Countries," Discussion Paper 1998-98, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Rachel M. Friedberg, 1996. "You Can't Take It With You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 5837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
  12. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Voting as Communicating," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 169-91, January.
  13. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 2002. "Immigrant earnings: Language skills, linguistic concentrations and the business cycle," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 31-57.
  14. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Batista, Catia & Vicente, Pedro C., 2010. "Do Migrants Improve Governance at Home? Evidence from a Voting Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4688, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Orla Doyle & Paul Patrick Walsh, 2006. "Did Political Constraints Bind during Transition? Evidence from Czech Elections 1990-2002," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp117, IIIS.
  3. Mahmoud, Toman Omar & Rapoport, Hillel & Steinmayr, Andreas & Trebesch, Christoph, 2014. "The Effect of Labor Migration on the Diffusion of Democracy: Evidence from a Former Soviet Republic," IZA Discussion Papers 7980, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Orla Doyle & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2007. "Did political constraints bind during transition?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15, pages 575-601, 07.
  5. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep15 is not listed on IDEAS

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