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Minority Salience and Political Extremism

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  • Tommaso Colussi

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
    Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Ingo Isphording
  • Nico Pestel

Abstract

We investigate how changes in the salience of a minority group affect the majority group’s voting behavior. Specifically, we focus on Muslim communities and their increased salience in daily life during Ramadan. To estimate a causal effect, we exploit exogenous variation in the distance of German federal and state elections to the month of Ramadan over the 1980–2013 period. Our findings reveal an increased polarization of the electorate: vote shares for both right- and left-wing extremist parties increase in municipalities where mosques are located when the election date is closer to Ramadan. We use individual-level survey data to provide evidence on potential mechanisms. During Ramadan respondents perceive the share of foreign-born people living in their country as larger and reveal more negative attitudes towards Muslims. We complement these findings with evidence on increased numbers of violent attacks against Muslim communities shortly after Ramadan.

Suggested Citation

  • Tommaso Colussi & Ingo Isphording & Nico Pestel, 2019. "Minority Salience and Political Extremism," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def080, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie1:def080
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    1. Endrich, Marek, 2020. "A Window to the World: The long-term effect of Television on Hate Crime," ILE Working Paper Series 33, University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics.
    2. Belmonte, Alessandro & Di Lillo, Armando, 2018. "From Italianization to Germanization : Division of Labor, Economic Rents, and Anti-German Attitudes in South Tyrol," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 379, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    3. Daniele Checchi & Alessandra Fenizia & Claudio Lucifora, 2021. "PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS: Working in the public sector in Europe and the US," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def107, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    4. Zurlinden, Noémie & Valladares-Esteban, Arnau & Gottlieb, Charles, 2020. "The Effects of Asylum Seekers on Political Outcomes," Economics Working Paper Series 2018, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    5. Uddfeldt, Arvid, 2021. "The economic effect of the 2015 Refugee Crisis in Sweden: Jobs, Crimes, Prices and Voter turnout," SocArXiv 7yrxq, Center for Open Science.
    6. Müller, Karsten & Schwarz, Carlo, 2018. "Fanning the Flames of Hate: Social Media and Hate Crime," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 373, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    7. Max Viskanic, 2019. "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 2016-18 | Migrants, Refugees and the rise of Far Right Populism," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/54p3kn4dif9, Sciences Po.
    8. Bernardo Fanfani, 2018. "Tastes for Discrimination in Monopsonistic Labour Markets," Working papers 054, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    9. Gagliarducci, Stefano & Tabellini, Marco, 2021. "Faith and Assimilation: Italian Immigrants in the US," IZA Discussion Papers 14567, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Thiemo Fetzer, 2019. "Did Austerity Cause Brexit?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(11), pages 3849-3886, November.
    11. Leonardo Bursztyn & Thomas Chaney & Tarek Alexander Hassan & Aakaash Rao, 2021. "The Immigrant Next Door: Exposure, Prejudice, and Altruism," NBER Working Papers 28448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr & Arthur Sweetman, 2020. "An introduction to the economics of immigration in OECD countries," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1365-1403, November.
    13. Luca Pieroni & Melcior Rossello Roig & Luca Salmasi, 2021. "Italy: immigration and the evolution of populism," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def098, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Salience; Muslims; Behavioral Political Economy; Right-Wing Extremism.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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