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Migrating Extremists

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  • Christian Ochsner
  • Felix Roesel

Abstract

We show that migrating extremists can shape political equilibria in the long run. Regions in Austria that witnessed an influx of Nazis fleeing the Soviets after WWII still have significantly higher far-right vote shares today. Institutions and family ties perpetuate persistence. Migrated Nazi elites founded and penetrated local party branches that cultivate and preserve far-right ideologies, even when outside conditions temporarily change. Phonebook entries from 1942 allow tracing current far-right party membership back to past migration. Our results suggest that controlling migrating extremists is crucial to contain the spread of radical movements.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Ochsner & Felix Roesel, 2020. "Migrating Extremists," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(628), pages 1135-1172.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:econjl:v:130:y:2020:i:628:p:1135-1172.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ej/ueaa017
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    7. Fontana, Nicola & Nannicini, Tommaso & Tabellini, Guido, 2017. "Historical Roots of Political Extremism: The Effects of Nazi Occupation of Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 11758, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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