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Immigrant group size and political mobilization: Evidence from European migration to the United States

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  • Shertzer, Allison

Abstract

Immigration to democratic nations generates new groups of potential voters. This paper investigates how the electorate share of immigrant groups influences their likelihood of becoming politically mobilized, focusing on the mechanism of coalition formation with the Democratic Party. Using newly assembled data on ethnic enclaves in American cities at the start of the twentieth century, I show immigrants were more likely to mobilize politically as their share of the local electorate grew larger. This effect is driven by political mobilization in voting districts where the Democratic Party likely needed an immigrant group's vote to win elections. I also consider the shape of the electorate share effect, showing it is nonlinear and consistent with a political economy model of coalition formation.

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  • Shertzer, Allison, 2016. "Immigrant group size and political mobilization: Evidence from European migration to the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 1-12.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:139:y:2016:i:c:p:1-12
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2016.02.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Biavaschi, Costanza & Facchini, Giovanni, 2020. "Immigrant Franchise and Immigration Policy: Evidence from the Progressive Era," IZA Discussion Papers 13195, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Vasiliki Fouka & Soumyajit Mazumder & Marco Tabellini, 2019. "From Immigrants to Americans: Race and Assimilation during the Great Migration," Development Working Papers 445, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    3. Thierry Baudassé & Rémi Bazillier & Ismaël Issifou, 2018. "Migration And Institutions: Exit And Voice (From Abroad)?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 727-766, July.
    4. Sweetman, Arthur & van Ours, Jan C., 2014. "Immigration: What about the Children and Grandchildren?," IZA Discussion Papers 7919, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Boustan, 2017. "Immigration in American Economic History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1311-1345, December.
    6. Stefano Gagliarducci & Marco Tabellini, 2021. "Faith and Assimilation: Italian Immigrants in the US," EIEF Working Papers Series 2102, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Feb 2021.
    7. Catron, Peter, 2017. "The Citizenship Advantage: Immigrant Socioeconomic Attainment across Generations in the First Half of the Twentieth Century," SocArXiv c7k45, Center for Open Science.
    8. Polipciuc, Maria & Cörvers, Frank & Montizaan, Raymond, 2021. "Peers' Race in Adolescence and Voting Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 14140, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Tabellini, Marco, 2020. "Gifts of the Immigrants, Woes of the Natives: Lessons from the Age of Mass Migration," CEPR Discussion Papers 14317, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Timothy J Hatton & Zachary Ward, 2018. "International Migration in the Atlantic Economy 1850 - 1940," CEH Discussion Papers 02, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    11. Marcus Drometer & Romuald Méango, 2020. "Electoral cycles, partisan effects and US naturalization policies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 183(1), pages 43-68, April.
    12. Mazumder, Soumyajit, 2019. "From Immigrants to Americans: Race and Assimilation during the Great Migration," OSF Preprints eka5y, Center for Open Science.
    13. Dora L. Costa & Heather DeSomer & Eric Hanss & Christopher Roudiez & Sven E. Wilson & Noelle Yetter, 2017. "Union Army veterans, all grown up," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(2), pages 79-95, April.
    14. Vasiliki Fouka & Soumyajit Mazumder & Marco Tabellini, 2018. "From Immigrants to Americans: Race and Assimilation during the Great Migration," Harvard Business School Working Papers 19-018, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2019.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigrants; Voting; Political mobilization; Political participation; Group size;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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