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Voice of the diaspora: An analysis of migrant voting behavior

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  • Fidrmuc, Jan
  • Doyle, Orla

Abstract

This paper utilizes a unique dataset on votes cast by Czech and Polish migrants in recent national elections in their home countries. The political preferences of migrants as manifested by their voting behavior are strikingly different from those of their home-country counterparts. In addition, there are important differences in voting patterns across migrants living in different countries. We examine three explanations of migrant voting behavior: adaptive learning; economic self-selection; and political self-selection. Our results suggest that migrant voting behavior is affected by the institutional environment of the host countries, in particular the democratic tradition and the extent of economic freedom. There is little evidence that differences in migrants' political attitudes are caused by pre-migration self-selection with regard to political attitudes, or with regard to economic considerations. The results indicate that the political preferences of migrants change significantly in the wake of migration as migrants adapt to the norms and values prevailing in the host country. This change away from home could be the catalyst of a corresponding change at home. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn in its series ZEI Working Papers with number B 02-2005.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zeiwps:b022005

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

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References

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  1. 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, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State 152, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  2. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  3. 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, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(2), pages 167-191.
  4. 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.
  5. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
  6. George J. Borjas, 1988. "Immigration And Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 2566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Micael Castanheira, 2003. "Why Vote For Losers?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1207-1238, 09.
  8. Magnus Lofstrom, 2002. "Labor market assimilation and the self-employment decision of immigrant entrepreneurs," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 83-114.
  9. Fidrmuc, J., 1998. "Political Support for Reforms: Economics of Voting in Transition Countries," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 1998-98, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Voting as Communicating," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 169-91, January.
  11. Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1994. " The VP-Function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 213-45, June.
  12. Joop Hartog & Rainer Winkelmann, 2003. "Comparing migrants to non-migrants: The case of Dutch migration to New Zealand," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 683-705, November.
  13. 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.
  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, 2011. "Do Migrants Improve Governance at Home? Evidence from a Voting Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8202, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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, IIIS iiisdp117, IIIS.
  3. Hillel Rapoport & Andreas Steinmayr & Christoph Trebesch & Toman Omar Mahmoud, 2013. "The Effect of Labor Migration on the Diffusion of Democracy: Evidence from a Former Soviet Republic," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1320, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep15 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Orla Doyle & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2007. "Did political constraints bind during transition?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15, pages 575-601, 07.

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