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Does Immigration into Their Neighborhoods Incline Voters Toward the Extreme Right? The Case of the Freedom Party of Austria

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  • Martin Halla
  • Alexander F. Wagner
  • Josef Zweimüller

Abstract

This paper explores one potentially important channel through which immigration may drive support for extreme right-wing parties: the presence of immigrants in one’s neighborhood. We study the case of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). Under the leadership of Jörg Haider, this party increased its share of votes from less than 5 percent in the early 1980s to 27 percent by the year 1999. Using past regional settlement patterns as a source of exogenous variation, we find a significantly positive effect of the residential proximity of immigrants on FPÖ votes, explaining roughly a quarter of the cross-community variance in FPÖ votes. It is the presence of low- and medium-skilled immigrants that drives this result; high-skilled immigrants have no (or even a negative) effect on FPÖ votes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2012-05.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2012_05

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Keywords: Immigration; political economy; voting;

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  4. Peri, Giovanni & Sparber, Chad, 2011. "Assessing inherent model bias: An application to native displacement in response to immigration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 82-91, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Otto, Alkis Henri & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2012. "Immigration and election outcomes: Evidence from city districts in Hamburg," Working Paper Series 02/2012, Hamburg School of Business Administration (HSBA).
  2. Ubarevičienė, Rūta & Burneika, Donatas & van Ham, Maarten, 2012. "Socio-Spatial Transformations, Suburbanisation, and Voting Behaviour in the Vilnius Urban Region," IZA Discussion Papers 7012, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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