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Refugee Migration and Electoral Outcomes

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Dustman

    () (University College London and CReAM)

  • Kristine Vasiljeva

    () (Kraka)

  • Anna Piil Damm

    () (Aarhus University)

Abstract

To estimate the causal effect of refugee migration on voting outcomes in parliamentary and municipal elections in Denmark, our study is the first that addresses the key problem of immigrant sorting by exploiting a policy that assigned refugee immigrants to municipalities on a quasi-random basis. We find that – in all but the most urban municipalities - allocation of larger refugee shares between electoral cycles leads to an increase in the vote share not only for parties with an anti-immigration agenda but also for centre-right parties, while the vote share for centre-left parties decreases. However, in the largest and most urban municipalities refugee allocation has – if anything – the opposite effect on vote shares for anti-immigration parties. We demonstrate response heterogeneity according to municipal characteristics, with a more pronounced response in less urban municipalities in which the pre-policy shares of both immigrants and the more affluent is high, and in urban municipalities with high unemployment. At the same time, higher pre-policy crime rates are associated with more support for anti-immigration parties in response to refugee allocation in both urban and non-urban municipalities. We also find some evidence that refugee allocation influences voter turnout. Moreover, it has a large impact on the decision of anti-immigration parties’ choice of where to stand for municipal election.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Dustman & Kristine Vasiljeva & Anna Piil Damm, 2016. "Refugee Migration and Electoral Outcomes," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1619, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1619
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    File URL: http://www.cream-migration.org/publ_uploads/CDP_19_16.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Card & Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2012. "Immigration, Wages, And Compositional Amenities," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 78-119, February.
    2. Damm, Anna Piil, 2014. "Neighborhood quality and labor market outcomes: Evidence from quasi-random neighborhood assignment of immigrants," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 139-166.
    3. Andreas Steinmayr, 2016. "Exposure to Refugees and Voting for the Far-Right. (Unexpected) Results from Austria," WIFO Working Papers 514, WIFO.
    4. Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 510-530, August.
    5. Gerdes, Christer & Wadensjö, Eskil, 2008. "The Impact of Immigration on Election Outcomes in Danish Municipalities," IZA Discussion Papers 3586, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Matz Dahlberg & Karin Edmark & Heléne Lundqvist, 2012. "Ethnic Diversity and Preferences for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(1), pages 41-76.
    7. Otto, Alkis Henri & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2014. "Immigration and election outcomes — Evidence from city districts in Hamburg," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 67-79.
    8. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2009. "Does the Welfare State Affect Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants? Evidence across Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 295-314, May.
    9. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    10. Brunner, Beatrice & Kuhn, Andreas, 2014. "Immigration, Cultural Distance and Natives' Attitudes Towards Immigrants: Evidence from Swiss Voting Results," IZA Discussion Papers 8409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Labor Market Competition And Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 133-145, February.
    12. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 2001. "Attitudes to Ethic Minorities, Ethnic Context and Location Decisions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 353-373, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Vertier & Max Viskanic, 2018. "Dismantling the "Jungle": Migrant Relocation and Extreme Voting in France," CESifo Working Paper Series 6927, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Grigorieff, Alexis & Roth, Christopher & Ubfal, Diego, 2016. "Does Information Change Attitudes Towards Immigrants? Representative Evidence from Survey Experiments," IZA Discussion Papers 10419, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Christian Dustmann & Francesco Fasani & Tommaso Frattini & Luigi Minale & Uta Schönberg, 2017. "On the economics and politics of refugee migration," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(91), pages 497-550.
    4. Emanuele Bracco & Maria De Paola & Colin Peter Green & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2017. "The Effect of Far Right Parties on the Location Choice of Immigrants: Evidence from Lega Nord Mayors," Working Papers 156985061, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    5. Christian Dustman & Francesco Fasani Fasani & Tommaso Frattini & Luigi Minale & Uta Schӧnberg, 2016. "The Economics and Politics of Refugee Migration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1616, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    6. Sebastian Till Braun & Nadja Dwenger, 2017. "The Local Environment Shapes Refugee Integration: Evidence from Post-war Germany," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201711, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews, revised 11 Sep 2018.
    7. Anthony Edo & Yvonne Giesing & Jonathan Öztunc & Panu Poutvaara, 2017. "Immigration and Electoral Support for the Far Left and the Far Right," ifo Working Paper Series 244, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    8. repec:scn:000pbo:122122 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Stähler, Nikolai, 2017. "A model-based analysis of the macroeconomic impact of the refugee migration to Germany," Discussion Papers 05/2017, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    10. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr, 2018. "The Effects of Immigration in Developed Countries: Insights from Recent Economic Research," CEPII Policy Brief 2018-22, CEPII research center.
    11. repec:oup:jecgeo:v:18:y:2018:i:4:p:951-999. is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Dreher, Axel & Fuchs, Andreas & Langlotz, Sarah, 2018. "The Effects of Foreign Aid on Refugee Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 12741, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Fabrizio Patriarca & Rama Dasi Mariani & Eugenio Levi, 2017. "Hate at First Sight? Dynamic Aspects of the Electoral Impact of Migrations: The Case of the UK and Brexit," SPRU Working Paper Series 2017-21, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    14. Bratti, Massimiliano & Deiana, Claudio & Havari, Enkelejda & Mazzarella, Gianluca & Meroni, Elena Claudia, 2017. "What Are You Voting For? Proximity to Refugee Reception Centres and Voting in the 2016 Italian Constitutional Referendum," IZA Discussion Papers 11060, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. repec:bal:journl:2256-0742:2017:3:5:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Alessandro Sola, 2018. "The 2015 Refugee Crisis in Germany: Concerns about Immigration and Populism," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 966, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    17. Altindag, Onur & Kaushal, Neeraj, 2017. "Do Refugees Impact Voting Behavior in the Host Country? Evidence from Syrian Refugee Inflows in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 10849, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Colussi, Tommaso & Isphording, Ingo E. & Pestel, Nico, 2016. "Minority Salience and Political Extremism," IZA Discussion Papers 10417, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Freddi, Eleonora, 2017. "Do People Avoid Morally Relevant Information? Evidence from the Refugee Crisis," Discussion Paper 2017-034, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    20. Egidio Farina, 2017. "They win, I leave: the impact of the Northern League party on foreign internal migration," Working Paper Series 0617, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    21. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2018:i:4:p:50000000000857 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; political preferences; re-distribution; welfare; random allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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