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Another Brick in the Wall. Immigration and Electoral Preferences: Direct Evidence from State Ballots

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  • Olivier Bargain

    (Larefi - Laboratoire d'analyse et de recherche en économie et finance internationales - UB - Université de Bordeaux, IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit - Institute of Labor Economics)

  • Victor Stephane

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Étienne - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Jérôme Valette

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

Using information on actual ballots rather than survey data, we investigate the impact of immigration on both electoral outcomes and immigrant-related motives underlying political preferences. We take advantage of 94 votes, namely 54 policy propositions and 40 elections for candidates, that took place in Californian general elections between 2010 and 2018. We first analyze how the share of immigrants at the census tract level affects electoral outcomes. We find that a rise in immigration is associated with a decrease in people's support for the Democratic party and for liberal measures. Using proposition topics, we show that this effect is driven by policies pertaining to redistribution, public good provision and justice/crime, while other propositions, less directly related to immigration are not impacted. The effect is stronger when immigrants are less assimilated and originate from poor and culturally distant countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Bargain & Victor Stephane & Jérôme Valette, 2021. "Another Brick in the Wall. Immigration and Electoral Preferences: Direct Evidence from State Ballots," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-03187855, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-03187855
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03187855
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; electoral outcomes;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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