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The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States

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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.

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  • Anna Maria Mayda & Giovanni Peri & Walter Steingress, 2018. "The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States," Working Papers gueconwpa~18-18-09, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~18-18-09
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    1. Paola Conconi & Giovanni Facchini & Max F. Steinhardt & Maurizio Zanardi, 2020. "The political economy of trade and migration: Evidence from the U.S. Congress," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 250-278, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2019. "Cultural interaction and economic development: An overview," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 243-251.
    4. Simone Moriconi & Giowanni Peri & Riccardo Turati, 2018. "Skill of the Immigrants and Vote of the Natives: Immigration and Nationalism in European Elections 2007-2016," Working Papers 2018-EQM-02, IESEG School of Management.
    5. 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.
    6. Chletsos, Michael & Roupakias, Stelios, 2018. "Immigration and far-right voting: Evidence from Greece," MPRA Paper 88545, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. 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.
    8. Moriconi, Simone & Peri, Giovanni & Turati, Riccardo, 2019. "Immigration and voting for redistribution: Evidence from European elections," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Republican Party; Electoral Effects; Economic and Fiscal Channels.;

    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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