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Immigration and voting for redistribution: Evidence from European elections

Author

Listed:
  • Simone Moriconi

    (Unicatt - Università cattolica del Sacro Cuore [Milano], LEM - Lille économie management - UMR 9221 - UA - Université d'Artois - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Giovanni Peri
  • Riccardo Turati

    (UCL IRES - Institut de recherches économiques et sociales - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain = Catholic University of Louvain)

Abstract

In this paper we document the impact of immigration on political support for welfare state expansion, using national election data of twelve European countries between 2007 and 2016. We match individual information on party voting with a classification of the political agenda of 126 parties during 28 elections. We first investigate the impact of local immigration on individual voting behavior, keeping the political platform of parties fixed. We then shift focus from voters to political parties, and investigate how immigration affects the political agenda of European parties. To attenuate omitted variable and selection bias concerns, we implement an instrumental variable approach that exploits cross-regional variation of immigrant settlements in 2005, along with the skill and nationality composition of recent immigrant flows. We find that larger inflows of highly educated immigrants are associated with European citizens shifting their votes toward parties that favor expansion of the welfare state. On the other hand, inflows of less educated immigrants induce European parties to endorse platforms less favourable to social welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Moriconi & Giovanni Peri & Riccardo Turati, 2019. "Immigration and voting for redistribution: Evidence from European elections," Post-Print hal-02498167, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02498167
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2019.101765
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Redistribution; 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
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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