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Has immigration affected Spanish presidential elections results?

  • Ildefonso Mendez


  • Isabel Cutillas

Between 1998 and 2008, the immigrant share in Spain jumped from less than 3 % to more than 13 %. We provide bounds on the effect of immigration inflows on natives’ election outcomes by considering alternative assumptions about nationalized immigrants’ participation rates and voting behavior. We find that Latin-American immigration increased natives’ participation rate and their support for the major leftist party (Socialist Workers’ Party) over the major conservative party (People’s Party (PP)). Conversely, African immigration only increased natives’ support for anti-immigration formations relative to the PP while leaving unaffected their participation rate. The estimated effects are of modest size in all cases. We provide suggestive evidence that economic factors cannot account for such a heterogeneity in the effects of interest by immigrants’ ethnic groups. We argue that Spanish natives’ attitudes towards immigrants are mainly driven by noneconomic factors like dissimilarities between natives and immigrants in language, religion, and race. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

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Article provided by Springer & European Society for Population Economics in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 135-171

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:27:y:2014:i:1:p:135-171
DOI: 10.1007/s00148-013-0471-y
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  1. Raquel Carrasco & Juan Jimeno & A. Ortega, 2008. "The effect of immigration on the labor market performance of native-born workers: some evidence for Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(3), pages 627-648, July.
  2. Lídia Farré & Libertad González Luna & Francesc Ortega, 2009. "Immigration, family responsibilities and the labor supply of skilled native women," Economics Working Papers 1161, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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  9. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 2000. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. César Alonso-Borrego & Nuno Garoupa & Pablo Vázquez, 2012. "Does Immigration Cause Crime? Evidence from Spain," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 165-191.
  11. José G. Montalvo, 2011. "Voting after the Bombings: A Natural Experiment on the Effect of Terrorist Attacks on Democratic Elections," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1146-1154, November.
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