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What Are You Voting For? Proximity to Refugee Reception Centres and Voting in the 2016 Italian Constitutional Referendum

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Listed:
  • Bratti, Massimiliano

    () (University of Milan)

  • Deiana, Claudio

    () (University of Essex)

  • Havari, Enkelejda

    () (European Commission, Joint Research Centre)

  • Mazzarella, Gianluca

    (University of Padova)

  • Meroni, Elena Claudia

    () (European Commission, Joint Research Centre)

Abstract

In December 2016, the Italian electorate voted for a referendum on crucial constitutional reform promoted by the governing party. The official aims of the reform were both to improve the country’s governability and stability and to simplify the institutional setup. Despite not strictly being a political vote, the referendum was largely perceived as an assessment of the Prime Minister’s work and the activity of his government. Using Italian municipality data, we provide novel empirical evidence on the impact of geographical proximity to refugee reception centres on voting behaviour. Our analysis demonstrates that being closer to refugee centres increased (1) the referendum turnout and (2) the proportion of anti-government votes. This evidence is consistent with the fact that the main opposition parties exploited the anti-immigration sentiments that were mounting in the population to influence people’s voting.

Suggested Citation

  • Bratti, Massimiliano & Deiana, Claudio & Havari, Enkelejda & Mazzarella, Gianluca & Meroni, Elena Claudia, 2017. "What Are You Voting For? Proximity to Refugee Reception Centres and Voting in the 2016 Italian Constitutional Referendum," IZA Discussion Papers 11060, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11060
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Emanuele Bracco & Maria De Paola & Colin Peter Green & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2017. "The Effect of Far Right Parties on the Location Choice of Immigrants: Evidence from Lega Nord Mayors," Working Papers 156985061, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    referendum; refugee reception centres; voting; proximity; Constitution; Italy;

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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