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The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States

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  • Mayda, Anna Maria
  • Peri, Giovanni
  • Steingress, Walter

Abstract

In this paper we study the impact of immigration to the United States on the vote for the Republican Party by analyzing county-level data on election outcomes between 1990 and 2010. Our main contribution is to separate the effect of high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants, by exploiting the different geography and timing of the inflows of these two groups of immigrants. We find that an increase in the first type of immigrants decreases the share of the Republican vote, while an inflow of the second type increases it. These effects are mainly due to the local impact of immigrants on votes of U.S. citizens and they seem independent of the country of origin of immigrants. We also find that the pro-Republican impact of low-skilled immigrants is stronger in low-skilled and non-urban counties. This is consistent with citizens' political preferences shifting towards the Republican Party in places where low-skilled immigrants are more likely to be perceived as competition in the labor market and for public resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Mayda, Anna Maria & Peri, Giovanni & Steingress, Walter, 2018. "The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 12848, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12848
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    Cited by:

    1. Paola Giuliano & Marco Tabellini, 2020. "The Seeds of Ideology: Historical Immigration and Political Preferences in the United States," NBER Working Papers 27238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Simone Moriconi & Giovanni Peri & Riccardo Turati, 2018. "Skill of the Immigrants and Vote of the Natives: Immigration and Nationalism in European Elections 2007-2016," NBER Working Papers 25077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Campo, Francesco & Giunti, Sara & Mendola, Mariapia, 2021. "The Refugee Crisis and Right-Wing Populism: Evidence from the Italian Dispersal Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 14084, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Onur Altındağ & Neeraj Kaushal, 2021. "Do refugees impact voting behavior in the host country? Evidence from Syrian refugee inflows to Turkey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(1), pages 149-178, January.
    5. Stelios Roupakias & Michael Chletsos, 2020. "Immigration and far-right voting: evidence from Greece," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 65(3), pages 591-617, December.
    6. Sarah Schneider-Strawczynski, 2020. "Hosting Refugees and Voting for the Far-Right: Evidence from France," PSE Working Papers halshs-02982827, HAL.
    7. Jules Gazeaud & Eric Mvukiyehe & Olivier Sterck, 2019. "Cash Transfers and Migration: Theory and Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," CSAE Working Paper Series 2019-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    8. Moriconi, Simone & Peri, Giovanni & Turati, Riccardo, 2019. "Immigration and voting for redistribution: Evidence from European elections," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    9. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2019. "Cultural interaction and economic development: An overview," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 243-251.
    10. Haaland, Ingar & Roth, Christopher, 2020. "Labor market concerns and support for immigration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    11. Magnus Carlsson & Gordon B. Dahl & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2018. "Backlash in Attitudes After the Election of Extreme Political Parties," CESifo Working Paper Series 7210, CESifo.
    12. Sarah Schneider-Strawczynski, 2020. "Hosting Refugees and Voting for the Far-Right: Evidence from France," Working Papers halshs-02982827, HAL.
    13. Stephen B. Billings & Eric Chyn & Kareem Haggag, 2020. "The Long-Run Effects of School Racial Diversity on Political Identity," NBER Working Papers 27302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Hennig, Jakob, 2021. "Neighborhood quality and opposition to immigration: Evidence from German refugee shelters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    15. Parker Elliott, 2020. "Migration Patterns in Eastern Europe and the World: A Gravity Approach," South East European Journal of Economics and Business, Sciendo, vol. 15(1), pages 66-79, June.
    16. Ajzenman, Nicolas & Dominguez-Rivera, Patricio & Undurraga, Raimundo, 2021. "Immigration, Crime, and Crime (Mis)Perceptions," IZA Discussion Papers 14087, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic and Fiscal Channels; Electoral Effects; Immigration; Republican Party;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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