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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. Cerqua, Augusto & Zampollo, Federico, 2021. "Deeds or words? The local influence of anti-immigrant parties on foreigners’ flows in Italy," GLO Discussion Paper Series 876, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    2. Sarah Schneider-Strawczynski, 2020. "Hosting Refugees and Voting for the Far-Right: Evidence from France," Working Papers halshs-02982827, HAL.
    3. Stelios Roupakias & Michael Chletsos, 2020. "Immigration and far-right voting: evidence from Greece," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 65(3), pages 591-617, December.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Onur Altındağ & Neeraj Kaushal, 2021. "Do refugees impact voting behavior in the host country? Evidence from Syrian refugee inflows to Turkey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(1), pages 149-178, January.
    7. 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).
    8. Haaland, Ingar & Roth, Christopher, 2020. "Labor market concerns and support for immigration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    9. Simone Moriconi & Giovanni Peri & Riccardo Turati, 2018. "Skill of the Immigrants and Vote of the Natives: Immigration and Nationalism in European Elections 2007-2016," NBER Working Papers 25077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Stephen B. Billings & Eric Chyn & Kareem Haggag, 2021. "The Long-Run Effects of School Racial Diversity on Political Identity," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 267-284, September.
    11. Hennig, Jakob, 2021. "Neighborhood quality and opposition to immigration: Evidence from German refugee shelters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    12. Ajzenman, Nicolas & Dominguez-Rivera, Patricio & Undurraga, Raimundo, 2021. "Immigration, Crime, and Crime (Mis)Perceptions," IZA Discussion Papers 14087, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2019. "Cultural interaction and economic development: An overview," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 243-251.
    14. Sarah Schneider-Strawczynski, 2020. "Hosting Refugees and Voting for the Far-Right: Evidence from France," PSE Working Papers halshs-02982827, HAL.
    15. Campo, Francesco & Giunti, Sara & Mendola, Mariapia, 2021. "The Refugee Crisis and Right-Wing Populism: Evidence from the Italian Dispersal Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 14084, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Parker Elliott, 2020. "Migration Patterns in Eastern Europe and the World: A Gravity Approach," South East European Journal of Economics and Business, Sciendo, vol. 15(1), pages 66-79, June.
    17. Moriconi, Simone & Peri, Giovanni & Turati, Riccardo, 2019. "Immigration and voting for redistribution: Evidence from European elections," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Republican Party; Electoral Effects; Economic and Fiscal Channels.;
    All these keywords.

    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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