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Skill of the Immigrants and Vote of the Natives: Immigration and Nationalism in European Elections 2007-2016

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  • Simone Moriconi

    () (IÉSEG School of Management)

  • Giowanni Peri

    (University of California, Davis)

  • Riccardo Turati

    (IRES, Université Catholique de Louvain)

Abstract

In this paper we document the impact of immigration at the regional level on Europeans’ political preferences as expressed by voting behavior in parliamentary or presidential elections between 2007 and 2016. We combine individual data on party voting with a classification of each party’s political agenda on a scale of their "nationalistic" attitudes over 28 elections across 126 parties in 12 countries. To reduce immigrant selection and omitted variable bias, we use immigrant settlements in 2005 and the skill compo- sition of recent immigrant flows as instruments. OLS and IV estimates show that larger inflows of highly educated immigrants were associated with a change in the vote of citizens away from nationalism. How- ever the inflow of less educated immigrants was positively associated with a vote shift towards nationalist positions. These effects were stronger for non-tertiary educated voters and in response to non-European immigrants. We also show that they are consistent with the impact of immigration on individual political preferences, which we estimate using longitudinal data, and on opinions about immigrants. Conversely, immigration did not affect electoral turnout. Simulations based on the estimated coefficients show that immigration policies balancing the number of high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants from outside the EU would be associated with a shift in votes away from nationalist parties in almost all European regions.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ies:wpaper:e201713
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Edo, Anthony & Giesing, Yvonne & Öztunc, Jonathan & Poutvaara, Panu, 2019. "Immigration and electoral support for the far-left and the far-right," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 99-143.
    2. Sebastian Doerr & Stefan Gissler & José-Luis Peydró & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2018. "From finance to fascism," Economics Working Papers 1651, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2020.
    3. Mathieu Couttenier & Sophie Hatte & Mathias Thoenig & Stephanos Vlachos, 2019. "The Logic of Fear: Populism and Media Coverage of Immigrant Crimes," Working Papers halshs-02095658, HAL.
    4. Doerr, Sebastian & Gissler, Stefan & Peydró, José-Luis & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2019. "From finance to fascism: The real effect of Germany's 1931 banking crisis," IBF Paper Series 01-19, IBF – Institut für Bank- und Finanzgeschichte / Institute for Banking and Financial History, Frankfurt am Main.
    5. Riccardo Turati, 2020. "Network-based Connectedness and the Diffusion of Cultural Traits," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2020012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    6. Bove, Vincenzo & Elia, Leandro & Ferraresi, Massimiliano, 2019. "Immigration, fear of crime and public spending on security," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 434, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    7. Bellettini, Giorgio & Berti Ceroni, Carlotta & Monfardini, Chiara, 2020. "Immigration, ethnic diversity and voting: The role of individual income," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    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; Nationalism; Elections; Europe;

    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

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