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Skill of the Immigrants and Vote of the Natives: Immigration and Nationalism in European Elections 2007-2016

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  • Simone Moriconi

    (IÉSEG School of Management and LEM)

  • Giovanni Peri

    (University of California, Davis)

  • Riccardo Turati

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

Abstract

In this paper we document the impact of immigration at the regional level on Europeans’ political preferences as expressed by voting behavior in parliamentary or presidential elections between 2007 and 2016. We combine individual data on party voting with a classification of each party’s political agenda on a scale of their "nationalistic" attitudes over 28 elections across 126 parties in 12 countries. To reduce immigrant selection and omitted variable bias, we use immigrant settlements in 2005 and the skill composition of recent immigrant flows as instruments. OLS and IV estimates show that larger inflows of highly educated immigrants were associated with a change in the vote of citizens away from nationalism. However the inflow of less educated immigrants was positively associated with a vote shift towards nationalist positions. These effects were stronger for non-tertiary educated voters and in response to non-European immigrants. We also show that they are consistent with the impact of immigration on individual political preferences, which we estimate using longitudinal data, and on opinions about immigrants. Conversely, immigration did not affect electoral turnout. Simulations based on the estimated coefficients show that immigration policies balancing the number of high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants from outside the EU would be associated with a shift in votes away from nationalist parties in almost all European regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Moriconi & Giovanni Peri & Riccardo Turati, 2018. "Skill of the Immigrants and Vote of the Natives: Immigration and Nationalism in European Elections 2007-2016," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2018013, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2018013
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    1. Sebastian Doerr & Stefan Gissler & José-Luis Peydró & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2018. "From finance to fascism," Economics Working Papers 1651, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2020.
    2. Riccardo Turati, 2020. "Network-based Connectedness and the Diffusion of Cultural Traits," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    3. Anthony Edo & Yvonne Giesing, 2020. "Has immigration contributed to the rise of right-wing extremist parties in Europe?," CEPII Policy Brief 2020-34, CEPII research center.
    4. Karakas, Leyla D. & Kim, Nam Seok & Mitra, Devashish, 2021. "Attitudes towards globalization barriers and implications for voting: Evidence from Sweden," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 190(C), pages 851-877.
    5. Edo, Anthony & Giesing, Yvonne & Öztunc, Jonathan & Poutvaara, Panu, 2019. "Immigration and electoral support for the far-left and the far-right," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 99-143.
    6. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Borra, Cristina & Rivera Garrido, Noelia, 2019. "Fertility Implications of Policy Granting Legal Status Based on Offspring's Nationality," IZA Discussion Papers 12641, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Dany Bahar & Hillel Rapoport & Riccardo Turati, 2019. "Does Birthplace Diversity Affect Economic Complexity? Cross-Country Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 7950, CESifo.
    8. Mathieu Couttenier & Sophie Hatte & Mathias Thoenig & Stephanos Vlachos, 2019. "The Logic of Fear: Populism and Media Coverage of Immigrant Crimes," Working Papers halshs-02095658, HAL.
    9. Nowakowski, Adam, 2021. "Do unhappy citizens vote for populism?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
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    11. Timothy J. Hatton, 2020. "Asylum Migration to the Developed World: Persecution, Incentives, and Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 75-93, Winter.
    12. Sebastian Doerr & Stefan Gissler & José-Luis Peydró & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2018. "From finance to fascism," Economics Working Papers 1651, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2020.
    13. Björn Brey, 2021. "The Effect of Recent Technological Change on US Immigration Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 9302, CESifo.
    14. Riccardo Turati, 2021. "Do you want to migrate to the United States? Migration intentions and Cultural Traits in Latin America," Working Papers wpdea2101, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    15. Bove, Vincenzo & Elia, Leandro & Ferraresi, Massimiliano, 2019. "Immigration, fear of crime and public spending on security," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 434, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    16. Bellettini, Giorgio & Berti Ceroni, Carlotta & Monfardini, Chiara, 2020. "Immigration, ethnic diversity and voting: The role of individual income," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    17. Grumstrup, Ethan & Sorensen, Todd A. & Misiuna, Jan & Pachocka, Marta, 2021. "Immigration and Voting Patterns in the European Union: Evidence from Five Case Studies and Cross-Country Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 14164, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Adam Levai & Riccardo Turati, 2021. "The Impact of Immigration on Workers’ Protection," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2021021, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 07 Sep 2021.
    19. Fornaro, Paolo & Kaihovaara, Antti, 2020. "Microdynamics, granularity and populism: The Finnish case," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Nationalism; Elections; Europe;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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