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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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    Cited by:

    1. Chletsos, Michael & Roupakias, Stelios, 2018. "Immigration and far-right voting: Evidence from Greece," MPRA Paper 88545, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Carlsson, Magnus & Dahl, Gordon B. & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2018. "Backlash in Attitudes after the Election of Extreme Political Parties," IZA Discussion Papers 11759, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Simone Moriconi & Giovanni Peri & Riccardo Turati, 2018. "Skill of the Immigrants and Vote of the Natives: Immigration and Nationalism in European Elections 2007-2016," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2018013, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

    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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