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Immigration and Voting for the Far Right

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Halla
  • Alexander F. Wagner
  • Josef Zweimüller

Abstract

Does the presence of immigrants in one’s neighborhood affect voting for far right-wing parties? We study the case of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) that, under the leadership of Jörg Haider, increased its vote share from less than 5% in the early 1980s to 27% by the end of the 1990s and continued to attract more than 20% of voters in the 2013 national election. We find that the inflow of immigrants into a community has a significant impact on the increase in the community’s voting share for the FPÖ, explaining roughly a tenth of the regional variation in vote changes. Our results suggest that voters worry about adverse labor market effects of immigration, as well as about the quality of their neighborhood. In fact, we find evidence of a negative impact of immigration on “compositional amenities”. In communities with larger immigration influx, Austrian children commute longer distances to school, and fewer daycare resources are provided. We do not find evidence that Austrians move out of communities with increasing immigrant presence.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Halla & Alexander F. Wagner & Josef Zweimüller, 2017. "Immigration and Voting for the Far Right," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(6), pages 1341-1385.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jeurec:v:15:y:2017:i:6:p:1341-1385.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jeea/jvx003
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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