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Voice of the Diaspora: An Analysis of Migrant Voting Behavior

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  • Jan Fidrmuc

    ()

  • Orla Doyle

    ()

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 behavior. 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 behavior: adaptive learning; economic self-selection and political selfselection. The results of the analysis suggest that migrant voting behavior 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 2004-714.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2004-714

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Keywords: Voting; elections; migration; political resocialization; transition;

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References

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  1. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  2. Kevin D. Hoover & Stephen J. Perez, . "Data Mining Reconsidered: Encompassing And The General-To-Specific Approach To Specification Search," Department of Economics 97-27, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 1999. "Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Castanheira, Micael, 2002. "Why Vote for Losers?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3404, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. George J. Borjas, 1988. "Immigration And Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 2566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Magnus Lofstrom, 2002. "Labor market assimilation and the self-employment decision of immigrant entrepreneurs," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 83-114.
  8. Fidrmuc, Jan, 2000. "Political support for reforms: Economics of voting in transition countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1491-1513, August.
  9. 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.
  10. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Voting as Communicating," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 169-91, January.
  11. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigrant Earnings: Language Skills, Linguistic Concentrations and the Business Cycle," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 152, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Doyle, Orla & Walsh, Patrick Paul, 2005. "Did Political Constraints Bind During Transition? Evidence from Czech Elections 1990-2002," IZA Discussion Papers 1719, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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).
  3. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep15 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Toman Omar Mahmoud & Hillel Rapoport & Andreas Steinmayr & Christoph Trebesch, 2013. "The Effect of Labor Migration on the Diffusion of Democracy: Evidence from a Former Soviet Republic," CESifo Working Paper Series 4389, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. 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.

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