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Minorities, Social Capital and Voting


  • Bevelander, Pieter

    () (Malmö University)

  • Pendakur, Ravi

    () (University of Ottawa)


It is widely held that voter turnout among immigrants and ethnic minorities is lower than among the native born. The goal of our paper is to explore the determinants of voting, comparing immigrant, minority and majority citizens in Canada. We use the 2002 wave of the Equality Security Community Survey to explore the relationship between personal characteristics (age, sex, education, and household type) work characteristics, social capital attributes (trust in government, belonging, civic awareness and interaction with others) and ethnic characteristics (ethnic origin, place of birth and religion) and voting. We find that the combination of socio-demographic and social capital attributes largely overrides the impact of immigration and ethnicity. This suggests that it is not the minority attribute that impacts voting. Rather it is age, level of schooling and level of civic engagement which effects voting, both federal and provincial.

Suggested Citation

  • Bevelander, Pieter & Pendakur, Ravi, 2007. "Minorities, Social Capital and Voting," IZA Discussion Papers 2928, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2928

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    More about this item


    social capital; voting behaviour; immigrants; political participation; ethnic minorities;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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